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How to live to 100?

Province of Ogliastra, Sardinia, Italy

Giacobba Lepori, 104 years old

Villagrande, province of Ogliastra, Sardinia, Italy

I always dress entirely in black and I wear a black veil because my husband is dead and tradition is that a widow dresses this way. I don’t know what will happen when I reach the end of my life. No-one knows, but I do not fear death.

Natale Lotto, 88 years old

Villagrande, province of Ogliastra, Sardinia, Italy

As a shepherd I have always been very poor and I have had a hard life. I spent my life walking outdoors, day and night, good times and bad. Like most shepherds in Sardinia, I began working very young and I never had much education. That is why it is difficult for me to express myself with ease when journalists come to ask me questions. What’s more, I find myself ugly in photos, I look old.

All that to say that I am generally satisfied with my life. Each morning I feed the animals; it makes me happy to work a little and stay occupied. We must keep working for as long as we can. I was gardening today for example. We grow everything: potatoes, beans, zucchinis, tomatoes, everything. My garden feeds six of my relatives’ households.


Luigina Loi, 90 years old

Villagrande, province of Ogliastra, Sardinia, Italy

I was 29 when my husband died and I have never let another man enter my house. Love does not interest me, and it has never interested me. When my husband is dead, all men are dead.


Barbara Orrù, 85 years old

Villagrande, province of Ogliastra, Sardinia, Italy

I have worked so hard in my life that it has cost me my health. My body is so used up that now I have trouble walking. I was a household mother and a farmer and I never stopped. My husband and I were like rabid lions, working without respite. It was not uncommon for me to go to sleep at 3 in the morning after finishing my work for the day.

I would have liked to live more calmly, but I am never calm. There are 30 people that I have to think about. I am always worried. Especially in this world that has changed so much. Young peoples’ obsession with their phones bothers me. Computers have ruined the lives of these poor children.
We used to always be happy, we sang. Today, no one sings anymore. The children have everything and yet they are never satisfied.