Shall I sing for you? How Europe's oldest woman joined the 116 club

Emma Morano, Europe's oldest person and the second oldest in the world, marked her 116th birthday by offering to sing her favourite song for visiting well-wishers, Italian media reported Monday.

Morano, one of only two women alive certified to have been born in the 19th Century, reached the milestone on Sunday in her little one-bedroomed flat in Verbania, a small town in the northern region of Piedmont.

"I'm fine, I'm fine and as long as it stays like that I will remain with you," she was quoted as saying. "You know I have a beautiful voice, if you like I can sing "Parlare d'amore Mariu" (Talk to me about love, Mariu).

In an interview with the New York Times earlier this year, Morano attributed her longevity to having left a violent husband in 1938, shortly after the death of her only child at seven months, and to eating three eggs a day for much of her life.

Diagnosed with anaemia at 20, she was advised to eat two raw and one cooked egg every day, a regime she maintained for 90 years.

Susannah Mushatt Jones, the American who is the only other member of the 116 club, also attributes her longevity to many decades of living on her own, having been married for only five years between 1928 and 1933.

The Brooklyn resident is also a regular egg eater—although she prefers hers scrambled and served with four rashers of bacon.

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© 2015 AFP

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