Something in the Air

How do the inhabitants of this small Sardinian town manage to live so long?

When Elena Orru turned 100 in July, she got the obligatory birthday cake, a salute from the mayor and write-ups in the local press. Orru, who had just broken her hip, also received a bedside visit and a red rose from the village elder. No one knows better than Giovanni Frau, 111, that passing the century mark is reason to celebrate. But these two most senior of citizens also know that starting your second century in Orroli--a small town in the parched interior of the Italian island of Sardinia--isn't all that unusual. When Frau hit triple digits, in 1990, Vincenza Orgiana,...

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