Italian grandfather, 91, completes middle school

A 91-year-old Italian grandfather has finally completed middle school after a lifetime spent working and looking after his family.

Italian grandfather, 91, completes middle school
Nicola Torelli, centre, celebrates with his family. Photo: Chieti Today

Nicola Torello has four children and six grandchildren, all of whom were there to support him as he took his exam at the Ortiz middle school in Chieti.

The grandfather passed his exams with flying colours, picking up top marks for his essay on Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, as well as getting top marks in his maths and English speaking exam.

English speaking exams are enough to strike fear into the hearts of most Italian students, but not Torelli, who was even disappointed when it was time to finish.

“I'd prepared a speech about my beloved wife Licia, who passed away last year,” he told Chieti Today, “but they didn't let me get round to it.”

The examiners were equally impressed by his essay that outlined his life as a soldier in Greece during WWII with the Brigata Maiella in Greece, as well as life in Chieti during the allied liberation of Europe.

After finishing his exams the widower celebrated with his family, professors and the Mayor of Chieti, Umberto di Primo.

Getting his middle school diplioma was no walk in the park. Torello needed to attend daily classes that started at 5pm each evening.

Now that he has his dipoloma, the evergreen grandfather shows no sign of stopping, and is aiming to complete his high school diploma as soon as possible.

“I'd like to go to a school that offers humanities,” he told Chieti Today. “But it's a bit difficult to get to the school in Chieti Alta (which comprises the town's historical centre), so I'm going to the De Sterlich politechnic school around the corner.

“Then I also want to learn to use a computer,” the pensioner said, admitting to getting his daughter to help him type up his essays and help out with research.

Not that the challenge of technology will stop him. Torello is approaching his 92nd birthday and still goes swimming twice a week at the local swimming pool. “At my age its important to keep myself busy,” he said.

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