Alessandro Grassani
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February 18, 2015 12:50 PM

What’s the secret to a long life? Is it knitting? Or, perhaps, porridge?

“You talk to 100 centenarians, you get 100 different stories,” Valter D. Longo, the director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, told the New York Times.

For Emma Morano, Europe’s oldest living person, the key is raw eggs.

The 115-year-old has been slurping down three raw eggs each day since she was a teenager, and a doctor told her it was great way to ward off anemia.

Thousands of eggs later, Morano is still upbeat and living alone in a two-room apartment in Verbania, Italy.

Her solitary existence is another factor she believes helped her pass the three digit mark. After ending an unfulfilling marriage in 1938, Morano has remained single and content.

“I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she told the Times.

The sweet centenarian still enjoys company.

Born in 1899, Morano has had a string of suitors over the years, and she receives regular visits from her niece, who is also her primary caregiver, as well as a neighbor.

One of the woman’s favorite parts about reaching this impressive age is sharing her stories with the numerous curious minds who want to learn more about her longevity. And after surviving two world wars, the ups and downs of Italy, and countless life events, Morano has a lot to share.

On a regular day without visitors, Morano eats the raw eggs – down to two nowadays – ground meat, pasta and banana prepared by her niece, and passes the time gazing upon a century’s worth of mementos that fill her small home.

Morano refuses to step out of her abode, even for doctor’s visits, leaving Dr. Carlo Bava to make house calls when necessary – though Dr. Bava’s trips out to see Morano are surprisingly scant. Aside from a few expected aches and pains, the 115-year-old is in good health, says her physician.

“She’s aware of the privilege of living,” said Dr. Bava.

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