We recently had a client from the UK that's a doctor. Over dinner, celebrating the purchase of his new home in the Langhe, he said - ‘Do you realise that by moving to this area you’ve literally added years to your life? Probably 7 or 8 years.’ And it true. Take a walk around any small town and you’ll see a lot of old people. It tells you that they’re doing something really right.
Just recently, Emma Morano from Piedmont, celebrated her 116th birthday! She’s Europe’s oldest person and the second-oldest in the world. She’s one of only two women alive that were born in the 19th century. And it’s just not unusual to hear people speaking about their parents or grandparents that are living well into their 90s or passing 100. So what makes Piedmont special? There could be genetics involved but I think it’s more than that. Number one has to be...
Piemonte cooking is good. Everything is always fresh and you’ll rarely find fried foods on the menu. People eat well. Many of the world’s top chefs consider Piedmont to be the cuisine capital of the food world. Emma Morano says she eats 3 eggs a day and coincidentally the another oldest woman eats them everyday too. Hmmmm, there’s something in this.. But surely wine plays a part too?
A friend was telling me about his grandfather, well into his 90s and still very active. Everyday he drinks a glass of Barbera (a red wine of Piedmont). My friend asked his grandfather ‘have you ever drank water?’ His reply? ‘Yes, I think it was about 1982’. Don’t believe all the nonsense you read in the press about red wine being bad for you. These health reports are usually financed by the likes of fizzy drinks and junk food manufacturers with their own commercial agenda. Speak to the aged people of Piedmont and they will prove that it’s really good for you. They don’t get drunk, but a tipple every day keeps the doctor away. But another factor has to avoiding stress.
Living with less stress
The people of south Piedmont are very relaxed, gentle people. Their wants are few and their needs well catered for by hard work and a clever business acumen. Meet your average Langhe farmer and you can be forgiven for thinking he’s very poor and lacks the necessities of life. He drives a beaten up old 4x4 Panda and his clothes are at least 25 years old - threadbare and full of holes. But it’s a deception - not a deliberate one, or maybe it is… no one wants to appear well-off otherwise the tax man might come knocking, or relatives might start asking for financial help. They’ve inherited a lot (Italians have small families and this area is no exception) so have more houses and land than they know what to do with. It means they don’t have to worry about finances so they do what they want and no one stresses them. And that brings me to the next one..
I’m constantly amazed by how hard people work here. The modern world is doing a great job of convincing people to work for work’s sake - like hamsters running around a wheel. People here work to fulfil their passions or because it’s what they’ve always done. It’s a usual sight see men and women in their 80s or even 90s still working the vines or driving tractors. They don't give up and spend their twilight years watching TV.
So, if you want to live longer you know what you have to do. I can honestly say that I feel great living here. It’s a lifestyle that's far more natural than being cooped- up in an apartment in a busy, dirty city. And Piedmont IS special. We have it all - lakes, hills, mountains, fine wines, great food and breathtaking scenery. It's a recipe for success, surely?
"Do you realise that by moving to this area you’ve literally added years to your life?”