Rome - Emma Morano, a woman from north-western Italy, whose life has spanned three centuries and 11 popes, and is recognised as the oldest person in the world, celebrated her 117th birthday on Tuesday.
Morano was officially recognised as the world's oldest person after the previous holder of the title, Susannah Mushatt Jones, died in NY in May. She claims that she has been eating three raw eggs for breakfast since she was a teenager, but recently cut that back to two raw eggs every morning. She has thrived despite an unorthodox, unbalanced diet.
She received a greeting from Italy's president, read by an official, wishing her "serenity and good health", and appeared for a brief live broadcast on state-run television.
But there have been bad times during her 117 years. "And cookies", she told the AFP news agency earlier in 2016. "Her characteristic is that she always eats the same thing, every day, every week, every month and every year", her doctor Carlo Bava told Reuters.
"I didn't want to be dominated by anyone", she said.
Instead, Morano, who has been bed-bound for a year, will receive guests in her home including relatives and Verbania Mayor Silvia Marchionini.
It was a regime she took up as a young woman, after the doctor diagnosed her with anaemia shortly after World War One.
"I don't have a voice anymore, I used to have a nice voice", Morano explained.
She worked in a factory making jute sacks and then as a cook. Kicking out her husband after her infant son died in 1938; according to an interview with La Stampa newspaper, her marriage was marked by troubles.
Marco Frigatti, head of records for Guinness World Records, said people can learn a lot from Morano's life.
On Tuesday her guests, Dr. Bava among them, presented Morano with a big cake with strawberries and adorned with a "117".
Last year, Bava said Morano has never had a very balanced diet, relying mostly on animal protein, the occasional banana and grapes in season.