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LONGEVITY

A nonna in Puglia has become Europe’s oldest woman

A 115-year-old living in the Italian region of Puglia has become Europe's oldest woman, following the death of a 116-year-old Sardinian.

A nonna in Puglia has become Europe's oldest woman
File photo: Melpomene7/Depositphotos

Giuseppina Projetto, born on March 20th, 1903 and dubbed the “grandmother of Italy”, became Europe's oldest living person last December, and was the world's second oldest person when she died at home last Friday. She had said eating chocolate every day and keeping positive were the keys to her long life.

Now Maria Giuseppa Robucci, known locally as 'nonna Peppa', is the third oldest person in the world and oldest woman in Europe. The two oldest woman on the globe both live in Japan and are aged 117 and 115.


Nonna Peppa on her 115th birthday earlier this year. Photo: Foggia Today TV

Robucci also holds the title of Italy's oldest mayor, having been named honorary mayor of her hometown, Poggio Imperiale, in 2015.

She was born on March 20th, 1903, and lives with her daughter Filomena and son-in-law, according to local paper Foggia Today. She has had five children, nine grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren, and managed a bar with her husband, who died in 1982.

As for her secret to old age, Robucci has previously said she has been able to stay healthy by abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes.

Many scientists have sought to identify the key to Italy's extraordinary longevity, with suggestions ranging from a Mediterranean diet to hormones to sex. 

TRAVEL

UPDATED: These are the Italian regions that now require tourists to register in advance

Anyone hoping to visit Sardinia, Sicily Puglia or Calabria this summer must remember to fill out a form stating where they'll stay and when they'll leave as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

UPDATED: These are the Italian regions that now require tourists to register in advance
Anyone arriving in Sardinia must now register with local authorities. Photo: Pascal Pochard-Casabianca/AFP

*Please note that this article from 2020 is no longer being updated. See the latest Italian travel news here.*

Since the beginning of June, when Italy allowed travel between regions again and reopened to European tourists, most journeys in Italy no longer involve paperwork – with a few exceptions.

While tourism is allowed and you don’t need to justify your reasons for travelling, some of Italy’s most popular summer destinations now ask visitors to register with the regional authorities in order to track and trace anyone potentially bringing the virus with them from elsewhere.

The process is separate from showing your ID when you check into tourist accommodation, which is standard practice all over Italy; now it is travellers’ responsibility to give their contact details directly to regional authorities by filling in a designated form.

The requirement aims to help protect regions that have so far had fewer cases as people beginning returning home from other parts of Italy, or heading south for a beach break.

The rules apply to everyone arriving, regardless of their nationality. Here are the parts of Italy where they’re in force.

Sardinia

Italy’s second-biggest island requires anyone arriving by plane or boat to complete its ‘Sardegna Sicura’ registration form, which is available online here.

The form asks travellers for their contact details, the flights or ferries they’re arriving and departing on, their address(es) in Sardinia and a piece of ID. Visitors must also agree to follow coronavirus prevention rules such as wearing a face mask, to inform local health authorities is they develop symptoms, and to submit to tests if necessary.

READ ALSO: Ajò! Handy local words to use on your next trip to Sardinia

While you can fill out most information up to a month before your trip, you’ll also be required to declare that you don’t have any symptoms no more than 48 hours before you travel.

Airlines and ferry companies will ask passengers to show their completed forms before boarding, and will also be checking travellers’ temperature.


Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Sicily

Until September 30th, all visitors should register on the Sicilia Si Cura website (also available as an app). 

READ ALSO: Can Sicily’s plan to subsidise your holidays save its tourism industry?

The portal allows non-residents to log their presence and health status and to alert authorities if they develop symptoms. All information is available in English.

Tourists can also call the toll-free number 800 458 787 for assistance in Italian or English.

Puglia

Anyone entering Puglia from another part of Italy or overseas must complete a form online (available here) and email it to their doctor if they’re a resident of the region, or to the local health authorities in the province where they’ll be staying if they live elsewhere (find a list here).

Visitors should also keep a record of everywhere they visit and everyone they come into contact with for 30 days following their arrival in Puglia, which they may be asked to produce in the event of an outbreak.

While the region says the requirement applies to everyone arriving by public or private transport, it’s unclear how tightly it is being policed. Meanwhile people travelling for work, health reasons, emergencies or to transport goods are exempt.

Incomers are also encouraged to download Italy’s contact-tracing app Immuni

For further advice, you can call the region’s hotline on 800 713 931 within Italy or 0039 080 337 3398 from overseas.

Calabria

The southern region requires visitors to register online here

READ ALSO: Seven crowd-free alternatives to Italy’s tourist hotspots

You should complete the form before you arrive, listing where you’re departing from, where you’re staying and how long for. You must also agree to inform the local health authorities if you develop symptoms.

The form is available in Italian and English.

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