Live long in Italy!

Italian town of Acciaroli, located near Naples, could have the secret to living beyond 100. According to the town’s Mayor Stefano Pisani, one in every ten of the town’s residents, are over 100 years old!

Emma Martina Luigia Morano was born 29 November 1899. She is at the age of 116 years, the world’s oldest living person, and the last verified living person to have been born in the 1800s. She is the oldest verified Italian person ever, and one of the ten verified oldest people ever.

What’s the secret to their long life?

Rome’s La Sapienza University and the University of California-San Diego, are conducting a study to understand why the residents of Acciaroli town live so long. Additionally, they have lower rates of heart disease and Alzheimer’s affliction. The scientists will examine reasons such as use of herbs like rosemary in the Italian diet, as well as walking long distances through mountains. Many people speculate that the reason for longevity amongst the residents could be the great weather in southern Italy, Mediterranean food, exercise etc. However, it’s none of that!

94-year-old Giuseppe, one of the town’s residents still going strong, shares some interesting insight into their lifestyle. He says a long life has nothing to do with clean living or eating. In fact, Giuseppe himself smoked two packs of cigarettes per day, up until five years ago.

To add to that, Giuseppe believes that the secret a long life… …is women. As shocking as that might sound, it seems to work for Giuseppe! He explains how after the death of his beloved wife six years ago, he was very depressed. However, he decided to fight the sadness away. He said, “I thought it’s not the end of the world. I should go on living. So I asked a donnina (‘little woman’) if she would go with me, and she said yes. I noticed that too is indispensable. It makes you happy, more cheerful.”

98-year-old farmer Luigi Ruocco says the secret is to keep working- and drinking half a litre of red wine each day! 101-year-old Antonio and his wife Amina, believe that eating fresh food, including their own rabbits and chickens, has kept them healthy.

So what exactly is the secret to a long life, in the words of the people of Acciaroli village?

It’s simple. Here are the 3 rules to become 100:

  1. Live a life that is free from exhaustion to the point of breakdown.
  2. Discover what makes your feel energised and enthusiastic about life.
  3. Most important of all, don’t lose touch with nature!

It’s time we all followed the Acciaroli secret to long life.

Image credit: Jeroen Bennink/flickr