Morano puts her longevity down to the three raw eggs she consumes each day and the fact that she has been single since she divorced, aged 39, in 1938.
“I didn't want to be under anyone's control anymore,” she told the New York Times in an interview earlier this year.
Morano is not just the oldest Italian ever, she is also the oldest person in Europe and the second oldest person alive today.
Born in 1899 she is one of just two living people to have been born in the nineteenth century.
In spite of her incredible age, Morano still lives alone in a small two-roomed apartment on the scenic shores of Lake Maggiore in northeast Italy.
She does not require any home help, but is visited each morning by one of her grandchildren, who helps to prepare her meals – including the three raw eggs she says keep her young.
Surrounded by her family and friends at home on Sunday she celebrated her 116th birthday.
To mark the occasion, she received a message from Pope Francis – who sent her a Pilgrim's badge – and Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who wished her “many happy returns, in the name of all Italians.”