Tripoli Giannini, Italy’s most experienced man, passes away at 111 years old.

Italy’s oldest man, known as Tripolino, passed away on New Year’s Eve at the age of 111. He attributed his longevity to “light meals and no stress”.

Tripolino, whose real name was Giannini, resided in Cecina, near Livorno in Tuscany. At the time of his death, he was the second-oldest man in Europe, with André Ludwig from France just 75 days older.

Giannini was part of the Italian army infantry corps and was born in Cecina in 1912. He experienced two world wars and two pandemics during his lifetime. During his 111th birthday celebration in August, he revealed that his secrets to living a long life were light meals, always paired with wine, avoiding stress, not smoking, and cherishing each day as a gift.

Italy, including Giannini, has seen a rise in the number of centenarians in recent years. According to the national statistics agency, Istat, there were 22,000 individuals aged over 100 in 2023, marking the highest number on record. The majority of Italian centenarians are women.

Sardinia, an Italian island, is recognized as one of five regions worldwide with a high concentration of centenarians. The city with the highest number of people over 100 in Italy is Genoa in Liguria.

The Mediterranean diet has long been associated with longevity among Italians as a key factor.

However, the aging population poses a challenge for Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government, particularly in the face of a declining birth rate. This has put strain on the pension and healthcare systems. In 2022, Italy recorded a historic low of 393,000 births according to Istat. Meloni revealed in December that reversing the declining birth rate is a top priority for her government in 2024, with a budget allocation of €2.5bn dedicated to addressing the issue.

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