Anna Melone and her children Bruno, Gina, & Giulio.
PHILADELPHIA – Anna Melone, a resident of South Philadelphia, celebrated her 102nd birthday on Feb. 22. Born in Rome, Signora Melone was honored alongside more than 120 fellow Philadelphians at the city’s Centenarian Celebration.
Signora Melone grew up in a mountainside town about 15 miles outside of the Italian capital city. In her early 20s she married a stone mason from Abruzzo named Romolo. After seven months of dating, the couple was married in January 1940 with their first child expected in November of that year.
While in Italy, the Melones ran a small business and had three children – Bruno, Giulio and Gina.
In World War II, like other Italian families, the Melones were forced to hide in forests as the Americans bombed Italy in an attempt to strike against the German Army.
Romolo and Bruno were sponsored by a family in the United States to move to South Philadelphia, where the men found local work.
Two years later, in 1957, Melone, Giulio and Gina followed the rest of the family to their new home at Ninth and Fitzwater streets.
After a couple of years in that tiny home, the family purchased a spacious home at 18th and Wolf streets in 1959, where they still live.
Anna remains healthy, and attributes her longevity to not smoking, only occasionally drinking, and consuming natural foods throughout her life.