Global Perspectives - Italy: Cilento
The small coastal area of Cilento is no ordinary place. It is home to an extraordinarily high number of centenarians. More than one in 10 of the population of 700 is over 100 years old, and the hamlet has been the focus of a study to discover the factors that contribute to its residents’ longevity. The American biologist Ancel Keys believed that nutrition was correlated to the diffusion of cardiovascular diseases. He noticed that these diseases were very low in the Cilento region, especially between Acciaroli, Pollica and Pioppi, and spent 40 years studying the traditional food habits of this area, defining what he called Mediterranean Diet. Pioppi hosts two important museums/research centers, that includes Keys’ personal library and organizes many didactical activities: the Museum of the Mediterranean Diet and the Living Museum of the Sea. The quality of the local food culture is also related to the preservation of the environment. All the beaches of the Cilento Coast received the blue flag and it is frequent to find turtle nests on the beach: the activists of Legambiente, together with local lifeguards, make sure that the turtle nests stay safe.