23 November 1896Ala, Trentino, Italy


2 August 2011Verona, Italy



Venere Pizzinato

Venere Pizzinato-Papo was an Italian supercentenarian who was the oldest validated person from Italy from 2010 until 2014, living to the age of 114 years, 252 days. She was the world’s third-oldest living person, behind Besse Cooper and Chiyono Hasegawa.

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Pizzinato was born in Ala, Trentino, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, on 23 November 1896. In 1902 the family moved to Verona, where they had relatives. In 1903, the family moved back to Trentino where Pizzinato attended a boarding school in its capital city, Trento.

World War I forced Pizzinato to take refuge in Bazzano, Bologna. After the war, she moved back to Milan where she took Italian citizenship and met her future husband Isidoro Papo. During the outbreak of World War II, in 1939, the couple moved to Nice, France, to escape the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. They married in France, and after the war, they moved back to Milan.

Upon retirement in 1964, the couple moved to Verona, where they finally settled. Isidoro died in 1981. The couple never had any children. Pizzinato remained in Verona for the rest of her life; at the time of her death, she lived in a retirement home there.

On 23 November 2010, marking her 114th birthday, Pizzinato was visited by Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano, who wrote her a letter with the words “On this happy and special occasion I would like to send, on behalf of all Italians, sincere congratulations and good wishes of serenity with her loved ones and people around the community Saint Catherine in Verona”.

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Pizzinato’s age was verified by Giovanni Alunni and was validated by the Gerontology Research Group on 2 February 2007. Pizzinato was the oldest person ever to have been born in the Austro-Hungarian empire, until Tekla Juniewicz surpassed her age on 18 February 2021. At the time of her death, she was the oldest person ever from Italy after surpassing Virginia Dighero’s age on 28 November 2010. She held the title until 13 December 2011 when she was surpassed by Dina Manfredini, an emigrant to the United States. However, she remained the oldest person to reside in Italy as a supercentenarian until Emma Morano surpassed her on 9 August 2014.