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BIOGRAPHY

Lippolis was born in Noci, Apulia, Italy, on 1 October 1913 (claimed 18 September), as the ninth of 13 siblings. She attended the rural school of Murgia Albanese until the third grade, after which she taught herself the hairdressing trade. In 1938, she married Giovanni Delfine, whom she had met at a dance party. She witnessed her husband depart for the front during World War II. With the assistance of some neighbors, she successfully sustained her family. Her husband was reported missing for two years in the war. Upon his return, she continued the knitting business alongside him. She had three children: Lucia, Nicola and Franco.

At the age of 105, she had 9 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. On her 110th birthday, she received a parchment from Pope Francis and a bouquet of flowers from the Mayor of Bari, Antonio Decaro. She was visited by the bishop of Conversano-Monopoli, Giuseppe Favale. The Mayor of Noci, Francesco Intini, along with the city councilors, honored her with a plaque that reads: “You are a symbol of resilience, hope, and love—an example of values to be preserved and passed down to future generations.” When asked about the secret to her longevity, she responded, “Do good and love everyone.” Her niece added that additional contributing factors include her lifelong practice of sewing, an art she has always engaged in, and playing scratch cards. As of September 2023, her daughter Lucia was her last surviving child, aged 84 at the time. She also had two living cousins, one of whom turned 100 in January 2023, while the other was approaching 101.

RECOGNITION

Her age was verified by Paolo Scarabaggio, and validated by the ESO on 27 October 2023.

Lippolis is currently the second-oldest living person in the region of Apulia, after Rita Rosaria Lotta.

ATTRIBUTION

GALLERY

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