Looking for the Fountain of Youth? It May Be In Limone sul Garda

Dec 16, 2022

On the shores of Lake Garda in Italy’s northern Lombardy region is an idyllic fishing village called Limone sul Garda. It supports a population of about 1,000 people and is the most northern spot in the entire world where lemons are naturally grown (hence the name, of course).

Beyond its reputation as a fascinating place to visit, Limone sul Garda has another claim to fame. For the past 40 years its residents have been under close scientific scrutiny. Do they harbour a tragic secret? Do residents struggle with mysterious illnesses or diseases of unknown origin?

Nope. Quite the opposite.

So Why the Scientific Scrutiny?

What’s unique about the residents of Limone sul Garda is that – virtually all of them – enjoy an exceptionally long and healthy life. How come? Simple.

They have what is known as the “Limone gene”.

This gene contains a special protein that destroys lipids and keeps blood fluid. As a result, the people of Limone sul Garda are blessed with great digestive abilities that allow them to:

  • Consume cream-filled cakes with abandon.
  • Feast on greasy cold cuts whenever the fancy takes them.
  • Never worry about expanding waistlines or heart problems, however questionable their daily diet.

In a recent report carried on CNN, a local shopkeeper – Gianni Segala – claimed the following: “The gene runs in my family. My brothers and I, my mother – who’s 96 and still very bright – and all my children carry it.”

He added: “Since the 1980s we’ve been giving away our blood for recurrent tests, we’ve almost been bled out entirely.”

The “Elixir” Protein

The CNN report quoted Cesare Sirtori, professor of clinical pharmacology at the Università degli Studi di Milano. Professor Sirtori heads up the team that first identified what Limone locals dub the “elixir” protein, calling it A-1 Milano.

According to the CNN story, the people of Limone have exceptionally low HDL cholesterol levels (in a 7-15 range when normally it should be 40-60) which appears to be the result of a genetic mutation within the protein carrier.

Observed Professor Sirtori: “Having low HDL cholesterol – given that it is classed as ‘good’ cholesterol’ – is bad for you and leads to heart problems such as potential strokes, but in these locals, it has an inverse positive effect.”

The CNN story goes on to report: “In 2000, he and his team lab-synthesized the Limone protein and injected it into rabbits. The animals saw a significant decrease of blood clots in their arteries.”

Limone, it turns out, is a dominant gene, found in the DNA of Limone sul Garda children, youths and elderly alike.

While it’s clear that the possession of the Limone protein amounts to a genetic fluke, the residents of Limone sul Garda tend to live nutritionally enlightened lives. The typical Limone diet is rich in local fish, olive oil and citrus fruits – all characteristics of the renowned Mediterranean Diet we’ve written about in the past.

Mortadella, salami and other cured meats are consumed in moderation, as are moderate amounts of wine. Limone sul Garda residents are weaned on the locally produced extra virgin olive oil, and they consume fresh lake fish.

Could This Be Where to Find the Fountain of Youth?

Put all these factors together, then throw in mountain hikes surrounding Lake Garda, the unhurried laid-back lifestyle of the residents and the area’s moderate climate – snow or ice are virtually unheard of – and you have a recipe for excellent health and longevity. Simply put, these genetic wonders are living the dream!

Concludes the CNN story: “Ever since the Renaissance, wealthy families have flocked to Limone’s shores for vacations, breathing in the sweet Alpine air mixed with citrus fragrances, and benefiting from the climate.”

Could this really be where to find the Fountain of Youth? Sounds to us like it could be.



Researched, resourced and written by experts, Everything Retirement is designed to get you where you want to go and enable you to become who you want to be. With clarity, insight and – above all – honesty, realism and actionable answers.