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Woman Celebrates 100th Birthday in Monaco after Fleeing Italy during WWII

Adopted by the Principality when she came to Monaco in 1939, Dina Maccario celebrated her 100th birthday in Monaco at the L’Aurore restaurant in Monaco-Ville. Dina was 20 years old when she came to Monaco with her husband to flee the war in Italy back in 1939.

Friends, family and neighbours gathered to celebrate the momentous occasion and reminisce with the great-grandmother.  Her whole family, even family members from Rome made the trip to celebrate her birthday.  She is known by her friends and family as being the queen of cooking gnocchi and ravioli.  She is a mother of three who has worked hard her whole life.  When she first arrived, she started working in households.  Then, she ran a gift shop at the Wildlife Garden.

Dina is proud to be the oldest of five generations. Her great-grandchildren gave her drawings that she could hang in her room.  She moved into a senior’s residence only last year.

She remembers her first days in the Principality as being difficult.  At first, people were not welcoming, but eventually, Monegasques helped the couple integrate into the life of the country.

Dina was granted Monegasque nationality in 1977 when she married her second husband, Fernand.

Her Monaco story begins with love at first sight. A young Italian man who lived in Beausoleil spent a holiday in Italy and fell in love with Dina. Three months later, they were married.  When the Second World War began in 1939, the young woman fled Italy and took refuge in Monaco with her husband. Her beautiful village ended up being ravaged by the war.

In 1963, her husband died. After years of widowhood, Dina met Fernand Maccario, former sports champion and coach of Louis Chiron, the only Monegasque to win the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1. The couple got married in 1977 and she became a Monegasque national the same year.

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