“Cent’anni” – “May you live for 100 years”

A favorite toast amongst Italians at a wedding or at any of life’s happy occasions is  “Salute e Cent’anni”. There is a good chance that in Italy you might very well reach 100 years old and possibly more.
Sardinia has the world’s highest recorded percentage of people who have eclipsed a century.  In Montemaggiore Belsito, in the province of Palermo in Sicily, celebrating the 100th birthday is a very common occurrence. However, in the town of Acciaroli, in the province of Salerno just south of the Amalfi Coast, with a population of 2,000 inhabitants, 300 persons have reached the age of 100, and 60 of them are pushing 110 and enjoying it.
Is it the Mediterranean diet, wine, olive oil, herbs, fish, climate, location, low-stress, and long walks?  The answer is all the above and the Italian way-of-life.
Ernest Hemingway frequently visited Acciaroli, and got inspired to write the “Old Man and the Sea”.
One ingredient in their diet is rosemary, it grows everywhere, it is used to flavor their dishes and its use prevents diseases like Alzheimers, and improves blood flow to the brain.  Anchovies, high in Omega 3, are equally effective in preventing heart and cardiovascular diseases.  On a recent visit to Cetara, on the Amalfi Coast, just 50 miles north of Acciaroli, I saw the locals placing their catch of anchovies in a small wooden barrel and putting a heavy weight on it.  The pressure, over a long period of time, allowed the oils of the fish to drip into a container, which they called “la colatura”.  A few drops of this fish oil added to any salad or to any main dish is all you need to get your daily dose of the amazing Omega 3.
It seems that the fountain of youth is in Acciaroli.
I wonder if the 110 year olds still complain that their 85 year old kids are still disrespectful after all these years?

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