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An Italian nonna is now the oldest person in Europe

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An Italian nonna is now the oldest person in Europe
The oldest living European, Giuseppina Projetto. Photo: Richard Monkey/Wikimedia Commons.
18:11 CET+01:00
Italy's Giuseppina Projetto, 115, has taken the title of Europe's oldest living person after the death of a 116-year-old Spaniard.

Ana Vela Rubio, born on October 29th, 1901, passed away peacefully at her nursing home in Barcelona a few days ago.

Her death makes Projetto, who turns 116 on May 30th, the oldest remaining European.

Born in Sardinia in 1902, Projetto has been dubbed “the grandmother of Italy”. She has been the world's oldest Italian since 117-year-old Emma Morano died in April, followed by 115-year-old Canadian-Italian nun Marie-Josephine Clarice Gaudette, who passed away in July.

She is the third oldest person alive in the world today, after two Japanese women born in 1900 and 1901.

Projetto lives with her descendants in the family home in Montelupo Fiorentino, near Florence, and swears by eating chocolate.

She is one of tens of thousands of Italians over 100 and still going. Many scientists have sought to identify the key to Italy's extraordinary longevity, with suggestions ranging from a Mediterranean diet to hormones to sex. 

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