Maria Giuseppa Robucci, who is 115 years old, is now Europe’s oldest living person. Known locally as Nonna Peppa, Maria is the third oldest person in the world. There are two women in Japan aged 117 and 115 respectively, who are older. Nonna Peppa also holds the title of Italy’s oldest mayor. In 2015, she was named honorary mayor of her hometown, Poggio Imperiale, in the region of Puglia. Maria was born on March 20,, 1903 and lives with her daughter and son-in-law. She has had five children, nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. As for her secret to old age, Maria said she has been able to stay healthy by abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes, although years ago she managed a bar with her late husband, who passed away in 1982.
Ronaldo Fever Sweeps Turin
Any fan of soccer knows that July has been a big month for news. Not only has the World Cup concluded, but Juventus has signed 33–year-old striker Cristiano Ronaldo to a four-year contract worth 350 million euros ($409 million). Ronaldo has scored 120 Champions League goals, more than anyone else in the history of the competition. Juventus shirts emblazoned with “Ronaldo” and the number 7 have been selling like hotcakes and one gelateria in Turin has even created a “CR7” cone, featuring a cherry liquor and chocolate shavings. 20,000 supporters were expected to greet Ronaldo at the airport, but the star player arrived earlier than expected and avoided the throng of club supporters. Juventus is hoping that Ronaldo’s arrival will push them to the top of Europe’s best. Fresh from their seventh Serie A title in as many years, the Old Lady of Italian soccer has struggled to turn domestic dominance into European success in the Champions League. Juve hasn’t won the competition since 1996, but reached the final in 2015 and 2017.
Fiat Workers Strike Over Soccer Deal
Workers in the southern town of Melfi announced a strike over the acquisition of Ronaldo. The USB trade union called the acquisition unfair, announcing a strike spanning three days. Both Juventus and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are partially controlled by holding company Exor. A spokesman for the union said that it was unacceptable that workers of FCA had to accept economic sacrifices, while the company spent so much money on a soccer player. The strike took place between 10:00 pm on Sunday and 6:00 am on Tuesday. Apparently, workers were more enthusiastic about the acquisition than the union bosses. A total of five out of more than 1,700 workers showed up at the protest, making it perhaps the least supported strike in Italian history.
Borsalino Rising from the Ashes
The private-equity firm Haeres Equita was the sole bidder for iconic and bankrupt hat maker Borsalino. The luxury hat maker, which celebrated its 160th anniversary last year, went bankrupt in December. Borsalino, whose hats have been donned by many celebrities and Hollywood stars and was the title of a 1970 film, was founded by the eponymous family in 1857. Despite a strong brand, the company has lost millions of euros over the past few years, returning to profit only at the beginning of 2015. The transaction was estimated at about 20 million euros. The hat maker will be able to maintain production and has forecasted revenues of 17 million euros this year. The company employs 135 workers. Pictured is Leonardo DiCaprio who wore a Borsalino hat in the movie “Shutter Island.”
An Italian team has studied eight Italians with total recall or ‘hypermemory’ in the first such study in the world. Those with hypermemory can recall what they were wearing or what they had for lunch on a given day 10 years ago. The study involved the Italian Higher Health Institute (ISS), La Sapienza University of Rome and the University of Perugia. The subjects showed no hesitation or conscious effort when asked to recall trivial events from dozens of years ago. Patrizia Campolongo of La Sapienza University said, “The results of the study show that hypermemory consists of the capacity to access trace memories by way of the prefrontal hippocampus circuit that are not accessible to other subjects.” The study paves the way for treatment to help people with memory pathologies regain their memory.
Health Care Gap Boundaries
Italy may be the healthiest country in the world, but there are still differences in the quality of health care among regions. The areas that scored best in a recent nationally-based report indicated that the region of Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol in the north had the highest marks. Filling out the top five regions were Tuscany, Lombardy, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Emilia Romagna. All of these regions are located in the northern portion of the country. The report from Rome’s Tor Vergata University indicated that the five worst-performing regions were Puglia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria and in last place, Sardinia, confirming what many in the south have stated since the national health plan was instituted – that a significant north-south gap exists in Italy’s health care system.