Dida Zvane: Istria’s Oldest Person Dies at Age of 105

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The oldest Istrian, known as dida Zvane in his village, passed away at the age of 105 

Ivan Ladika, the oldest person in Istria and a resident of Ukovija village, passed away at the age of 105 on Christmas Eve, reported Glas Istre on December 28, 2017.

When he turned 100, the spirited dida (grandpa) Zvane disclosed the secret of his longevity to everyone who gathered to celebrate his jubilee: “Listen, if you want to get to that [age], you can’t drink too much, nor eat, nor smoke; we should part with the habits that are doing us harm. You should keep away from everything – except from the women”.

The host even danced on that night five years ago, with Mayor of Lupoglav Municipality Franko Baxa. “When you get to 100, I’ll come and visit you”, dida Zvane told him at the time, admitting that he’s not very fond of seeing the number on the cake, instead wishing it was 50 – “but you need to take what you can get and shut up”.

Ivan Ladika was born on May 29, 1913, in the small village of Petrići located in a sparsely populated area of Dolenja Vas parish. He moved to Ukovija village with his parents and four siblings shortly thereafter. He didn’t get married until he was 45 and his wife 37, causing the neighbours to speculate he would never get to raise children and grandchildren.

Well, Mr Ladika proved them wrong, stated his son Boris: Istria’s oldest resident saw his only child retire, got to spend a lot of time with his two granddaughters, and even lived to meet his great-granddaughter Allegra Marla who was born two months ago.

“He always used to say one should be honest and respect others”, Boris said, adding that his dad was known to take 15-kilometre walks even at the age of 100. After he broke his hip, he started to find it harder to move, so his family has been taking him on car rides around his estate through the summer.

The only day dida Zvane ever spent in bed was his last. A truly inspirational man who will live on in the memory of his friends and family, his legacy immortalised with a stone cross monument installed in front of his house that reads ‘To the glory of God for one hundred years of life”.


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