When it comes to long live, the village of Perdasdefogu in Sardinia, Italy, must have some sort of special secret. After all, Perdasdefogu is the home of the Melis family. With the recent birthday of oldest sister Consolata Melis, the Melis siblings have lived a combined 818 years, 205 days, which makes them the longest living family in the world according to the Guinness World Records society. On an island where people have long life spans, the Melis family is a pretty unusual in that they’ve all lived to be well into their golden years. Sardinia has one of the highest rates of centenarians in the world.
“In my day women had to cope with household chores, go to the source to get water to the river to wash clothes. My grandchildren have washing machines, dishwasher and a vacuum cleaner. And when I hear these new words ‘we are stressed,’ I do not understand,” says the birthday girl, who is still spry and witty at 105 years young despite being nearly older than electric lights.
That kind of activity breeds good health and long life. Of the nine Melis siblings, Consolata is the oldest at 105, but her 99-year-old sister Claudina attends church daily and their 89-year-old brother Adolfo works in a bar in the village. The Melis siblings, six girls and three boys, range in age from 105 to 78. The family credits hard work, physical activity, a simple Mediterranean diet, a family secret selection of herbs and infusions, and being surrounded by family as the key to a long and healthy life. Speaking of surrounded by family, Consolata has 14 children, 24 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren.
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