It's difficult not to be charmed by Deputy Umberto Scapagnini, Berlusconi's personal physician, whose theories of longevity drew him into Berlusconi's circle. He keeps the Prime Minister on a special regimen of diet, exercise, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. "Berlusconi is the most extraordinary psychophysical subject I have ever examined," Scapagnini told me. "And I am not saying this because I'm a brownnoser. I am an internationally respect scientist - I don't need to curry favor." Scapagnini, who has travelled the Silk Road and studied the dietary habits of the residents of Okinawa looking for the secrets of long life, has helped develop a method for measuring what he calls a person's true biological age (the measurement of certain hormones and an examination of fifty strands of DNA as well as the person's immune system), which can vary considerably from one's actual age. "Berlusconi is fifteen years younger than his chronological age," Scapagnini continued. "He has an amazing immune system and powers of resistance. He has a magnetic personality and an exceptional capacity to communicate. He is perhaps the patient I've examined who has the capacity to live the longest. If you see him in a bathing suit, he has the musculature and tone of a much, much younger man." Scapagnini hopes to keep the P.M. alive until the age of a hundred and twenty, which he considers within the natural life span of a human being.
As for women, Scapagnini said, "Certainly, he has a strong sexual personality, and they are highly attracted to him, Naturally, for his part, as with any of us, this is not unpleasant."
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Prime ministers in bathing suits
Not available online, but I share this comical tidbit from Alexander Stille's New Yorker piece about the Italian prime ministerial sex troubles: