Wine. Fresh pasta. Warm Mediterranean breezes. Living in Italy sounds completely dreamy, right? It might also be the key to living a longer life.
There's a small village on the southern coast of Italy called Acciaroli, where 300 of its residents are over 100 years old, NPR reports, and residents are letting scientists research why their life span is so long.
Dr. Alan Maisel, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, said in a recent broadcast that of the residents over 100, about 20% have actually reached 110 years of age.
Strangely, the people in this village don't seem to be living that healthy of a lifestyle. "What shocked me is that I don't see people jogging," the doctor said. "I do not see people in active exercise classes. I don't see them swimming laps in the ocean."
The lifestyle is also very relaxed, Dr. Maisel says. "In the evenings, in the late afternoon, they're all sitting around the cantinas, the restaurants. They're having some wine, some coffee. They're relaxed." Studies show that stress can literally age you on a cellular level by shortening DNA telomeres.
Dr. Maisel and his team will be studying the people in the village for the next six months in hopes of finding more secrets to their long lives.