Italy - Rome and Sardinia

Insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world. Introduced by Pascale Harter.

In today's edition - an Italian special, with items from the working-class Testaccio district of Rome, and the countryside of Sardinia.

Things aren't what they used to be
It would be an understatement to say that the city of Rome has seen its ups and downs, being at the crux of European, Mediterranean and even world history for millennia. Right now, all Italy feels uncertain about its economic prospects and its currency. But when you've been around long enough to see the fabric of daily life deteriorating around you, what can you do to stop yourself going into a decline?

On a stroll through the working-class district of Testaccio, Alan Johnston heard a number of good suggestions - from counting on the comforts of family, to taking refuge in a good book.

Not fade away
The landscape of rural Sardinia is rocky and rugged - and if you go by the statistics, that might be true of the people, too. For this island is home to one of the densest concentrations of centenarians, people aged over 100, in the world. Explanations range from genetic predisposition, to the effects of the excellent local wine and diet.

Our correspondent Mattia Cabitza's own grandmother, Maria, was born in 1922 in rural Sardinia - and he was moved to ask how she and so many of her contemporaries, are still so lively and healthy.

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10 minutes

Last on

Fri 13 Jul 2012 03:50 GMT

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