If you’ve ever experienced post-gorge bloat after feasting on pizza, pasta or gelato while on holiday in the bel paese (who hasn’t?) you might be surprised to learn that Italians are actually the world’s healthiest people. The Global Health Index awarded Italy a score of 93.11 – beating Iceland and Switzerland to the top spot – despite high unemployment, a struggling economy and an abundance of carbohydrates. So, what’s the secret?
According to the Global Health Index by Bloomberg, a baby born in Italy today can expect to live to be an octogenarian. The study analysed 163 countries, calculating a health score based on variables such as life expectancy, causes of death, health risks such as smoking and obesity and environmental factors like pollution.
The results of the study are surprising considering the overall state of Italy’s economy. The country has a poor growth rate, the highest level of youth unemployment in the EU and the percentage of people living in extreme poverty is on the rise.
Yet, Italians are in good shape – with lower blood pressure, less cholesterol and more robust mental health than their Canadian, American and British counterparts.
One explanation for the apparent anomaly is that Italy has ‘an excess of doctors’ and a high-quality public heath care system. The Servizio Sanitario Nazionale is mostly paid for by taxes (with the occasional low-cost upfront payment required) and offers the most complete list of pharmaceuticals in Europe. The system is also the only one in Europe to allow families to choose a paediatrician for children until the age of 14 at no charge.
While it’s also not true that Italians only eat pizza and pasta – instead following a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, vegetables, lean meat and olive oil, the health benefits of which are well publicised – scientists could also have another explanation for the country’s top health score: Eating pasta doesn’t make you fat.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.