Emma Morano is 115 years, three months of age, but you couldn't tell when you meet her.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Morano is the oldest person in Italy and all of Europe, and fifth oldest in the world. Her lifespan has spanned three centuries, a rare feat.
When asked to sum up her life, Morano, sitting covered by numerous hand-knitted shawls next to a warming radiator, said, "115 years are a lot."
When asked for her secret to longevity, she said one key is her diet. She eats raw eggs, three per day since she was a teenager. A doctor advised her to eat raw eggs to combat anemia. It's assumed that she has consumed over 100,000 raw eggs over her lifetime, and the results cannot be argued.
Morano also credits her longevity to her single life. She has been single since 1938 when her husband left her after the death of an infant son. Though separation was unheard of back then in Italy and divorce didn't become legal until 1970, her husband was gone, nonetheless.
She has been propositioned numerous times over the years but has declined all suitors. "I didn't want to be dominated by anyone," she said.
Another possible reason is genetics. Morano had two sisters, one who passed away at age 102, and one who died just short of her 100th birthday.
The New York Times is reporting in her lifetime, she has seen Italy evolve from a monarchy to a republic that spawned nearly 70 governments in seven decades, sandwiching a 20-year fascist rule in between. She survived two world wars, along with rebuilding and renovating; fluctuating years of economic despair followed by economic prosperity, watching Italy go from an agrarian economy to a technological one.
Morano now lives in a dusty two-bedroom apartment in Verbania, Italy, by herself. She is surrounded by 115 years of memories, including mementos of her recent fame due to her longevity. Italy's last president sent Morano a tribute, as have other officials. She has also received a gift from a local nursery school; the number 115 in bright blue that she keeps next to her bed.
Morano now has a primary caregiver. Rosemarie Santoni, her niece, who comes by every morning to prepare the day's meals, which consist of the aforementioned eggs, now down to two a day, ground meat, soupy pasta, and a banana.
Morano also has a neighbor check in periodically, to make sure no emergencies are taking place. Very few have. Morano, even while very ill, refuses to go to a hospital. Her doctor, Carlo Bava, will do stitches and blood transfusions in her apartment as needed. He also states that Morano is in good health.