Ninety-year-old Italian climbs 3,000-meter mountain, sets record

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ROME, July 9 (RIA Novosti) - Italian Piero Paci, who turns 90 this October, has successfully climbed a 3,000-meter (9,000-foot) mountain, setting a Guinness record, witnesses said.

The elderly mountaineer reached the top of Gran Sasso, at an altitude of 2,914 meters (8,742 feet), without assistance. His son and daughter accompanied him during the climb.

Another long-lived Italian, Giovanni Viglione, 100, recently took a test for a new driver's license. He also studies at a local university where he enjoys taking watercolor classes.

A third, still-employed 100-year-old, asked about the secret of his longevity, said: "I get up at 6:00 a.m. every morning, drink a glass of red wine and go to work. When I feel hungry, I eat a big portion of pasta that my daughter-in-law cooks for me. "

An Italian statistics institute said that people in the Apennines have one of the world's longest life expectancies, with 77.2 years for men and 82.8 for women, although Italians are considered to be some of the world's heaviest smokers.

Research conducted by U.S. scientists showed that traditional Italian foods, like spaghetti, tomatoes, chilly pepper and red wine, prevent many illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

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