The Italian Almanac

The Empire State Building

Italian News - January 27

Who will rise 86 storeys in about 45 minutes on February 1 and then plan on doing it again next year? The answer, if experience is a guide, is Chico Scimone, a 94-year-old Italian musician.

Scimone will be among the more than 150 athletes taking part in the annual Fleet Empire State Building Run-up, which consists of racing up 1,576 steps, or about one third of a kilometre, in what is now, sadly, New York's tallest building.

Scimone, who also competes regularly in the Mediterranean Supermarathon in Palermo, attributes his feats to a regular life - up at 6am, followed by a dip in the ocean, a simple breakfast of bread and milk, a long walk, a lunch of cheese and vegetables gathered in his own garden and a beef steak and salad in the evening.

He has been competing in the run-up for the past 15 years, and although he usually finishes last, about 35 minutes behind the winner, he is also among the most applauded.