Average national life expectancy: 82.3 years
La bella vita is sweet in Italy — and long-lasting.
The gorgeous Italian isle of Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, is of special note; it became the first identified Blue Zone after demographers Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain found that it had the highest concentration of male centenarians on earth.
Today, 24 out of every 100,000 Sardinians are above the age of 100. Ovodda, one rural town on the island, has a population of 1,700 people, five of whom have surpassed 100 years in age.
What’s to account for these impressive numbers? Access to farm-fresh fruits, vegetables and other produce is commonplace. Even the cheese and milk Sardinians love to consume come from a healthy source: grass-fed goats.
And yes, a love of wine also helps. The Blue Zone project lists "Wine at 5" as one of the key indicators of a long life. "Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers," experts note. "The trick is to drink 1-2 glasses per day (preferably Sardinian Cannonau wine), with friends and/or with food."
The majority of Sardinian centenarians are men who work as shepherds and farmers, and they tend to spend ample time walking and sharing camaraderie with their companions.