Letter From Sardinia: Something in the Air

ELGIO PAONI/CONTRASTO

A GOOD AGE: Giovanni Frau, at 111 the world's third oldest person, enjoys the local cheese and wine

When Elena Orrù turned 100 in July, she got the obligatory birthday cake, a salute from the mayor and write-ups in the local press. But Orrù, who'd just broken her hip, also received a bedside visit (and a red rose) from the village elder. No one knows better than 111-year-old Giovanni Frau that passing the century mark is reason to celebrate. But these two most senior of citizens also know that reaching your second century in Orroli — a small town in the parched interior of the Italian island of Sardinia — doesn't necessarily turn heads. When Frau hit triple digits...

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