garda lake

Lunch at Limone sul Garda, a town in the province of Brescia in Lombardia, Northern Italy, on the shore of Lake Garda. Despite the presence of famous cultivations of lemons, the town’s name is probably derived from the ancient “lemos” (elm) or “limes” (Latin: boundary, referring to the communes of Brescia and the Bishopric of Trento). Until the 1940′s the city was reachable only by lake or through the mountains; the road to Riva del Garda was only built in 1932. Today, Limone is one of the most popular tourist resorts in the area. 

In 1979, researchers discovered that people in Limone possess a mutant form of apolipoprotein (’ApoA-1 Milano’) in their blood that induced a healthy form of high-density cholesterol, which resulted in a lowered risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The protein appears to have given residents of the village extreme longevity - a dozen of those living here are over the age of 100 (for c. 1000 total inhabitants). The origin of the mutation has been traced back to a couple who lived in Limone in the 17th century. Research has been ongoing to develop pharmaceutical treatments against heart disease based on mimicking the beneficial effects of the apoAI mutation.