Monday, September 16, 2013


"Chi viene a Ispica compierà 100 anni - Those who come to Ispica will live to the age of 100", goes the saying in these parts but perhaps we now need to add, "Chi è nato a Enna - Those born in Enna....." for the world's oldest man comes from there.
Arturo Licata, who celebrated his 111th birthday in May, officially became the oldest man in the world at the weekend, following the death of 112-year-old Salustiano "Shorty" Sanchez in the USA.
Arturo sadly lost his wife in 1980 but he has seven children and is looked after by them in his home town of Enna. One of his sons says that, although Arturo can no longer see or hear, he is in reasonably good health, which he partly attributes to the fact that his father has never smoked and limits his alcohol consumption to a glass of red wine with meals. He has also always eaten lots of vegetables and is partial to a raw onion from time to time. Arturo's favourite dish is pasta with ricotta.
After working in the sulphur mines of Pasquasia for 20 years, Arturo became a nurse in the Enna Dispensary. One of his duties was to take children with tubercolosis  to hospital in Palermo. He also served in the military in Africa during the Fascist period.
Later Arturo learnt to play the guitar and was often called upon to compose love songs for friends who wanted to impress the ladies.  He developed a love of poetry and won several prizes in poetry competitions.
Now he passes the time telling the children in his family all about his long and interesting life. Let's hear it for Arturo and pasta alla ricotta!


Lee said...

And I bet he has the most wonderful stories to tell. I hope his family members, or some of them are recording them...they'd be worth saving and cherishing.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee. Yes, it would be wonderful to hear his stories. I hope they're recording them, too.

Whispering Walls said...

I know a lady in Winchester who's 107

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It must be the Winchester air, WW.

Hawkins Family said...

How nice! We were just in Enna this weekend...beautiful place to spend a century.

Moggsy said...

Forgive me, but he can no longer see or hear? No books, no music? No sunrises or sunsets, no full moon or stars?

That sounds as much like a curse as a blessing to me. A person would need a long life to store up enough memories and a sharp mind and imagination to keep themselves mentally occupied to get a person through that.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Hawkins Family. I agree. Hi, Moggsy. I must admit the thought of being both deaf and blind terrifies me. But there are cultural differences and some Sicilians are content, as they age, to sit with their memories, especially if surrounded by family.


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