The Winners Circle – Naples Style – August 2015

Sandra Lee BuxtonWe have all heard the word “sweet” used to describe someone and “SWEET!” used to describe something fabulous.

The usage of the word in both situations does in fact describe Roberta Cervelli. She has a smile as big as a Cheshire cat and greets everyone as though they are her long lost pal.

She may be small in stature but big on personality, a natural conversationalist, consider it a joy should she become your dinner partner.

Well versed in many areas, just present a topic and she can take it from there, especially travel, art, cooking or local events.

Roberta CervelliOriginally from Chicago, Roberta began coming to Naples in 1969 and then became a full time resident in 1990.  She values the time spent in being a wife and proud to raise two sons. Outgoing by nature she was fully enmeshed in her career on the business side of retail.

Roberta counts herself fortunate to have traveled extensively and has spent long periods of time abroad.

Among her favorite destinations were Greece, Eastern Europe, especially Prague, and Italy. She avoided the tourist destinations and focused instead on the small quaint towns where lifestyles have remained unchanged for generations.

art paintingShe lived in Florence for a considerable length of time and stated that she learned to cook while watching Italian television. Although she didn’t speak Italian the recipes were simple and chefs used minimal ingredients. She took note of what the TV host held up, and watched carefully as a meal was constructed.

Going to the local market she obtained the same ingredients followed her written instructions and was soon preparing meals like a local.

Cooking has been one of her favorite pastimes and no doubt her friends are the grateful recipients of her work. Florence, Italy will always have a piece of her heart.

Plan as we all do for a perfect life, sometimes we are thrown curves that are unimaginable. Draw upon your own experience with a dark or difficult time. Those time periods can be overwhelming, we have all had them and so did Roberta.

Within a two month period she unexpectedly lost one of her beloved sons and her husband. One loss can bring the strongest person to their knees and the loss of two people in such a short time could lead to immobilization.

Roberta choose to use art as therapy and transform her stately home into her own private gallery. With the use of vivid colors, varied textures, stained glass windows, sculpture, paintings and tiles turned a house of tragedy into a home filled with life and love. Her home reflects who she is as a person, joyful and grateful for each day. The first time or two that you walk through one of Roberta’s rooms it is easy to overlook something, it takes several slow visits before you can take it all in.

portraitJust like most Neapolitans, she is actively involved in various organizations from Latchkey League, Circumnavigators Club, Italian American Club and as she said the list goes on and on. She supports a cadre of charities and is partial to helping children and families.

It doesn’t stop there however. Most of her serious philanthropic endeavors are not known publicly and she works without fanfare or need of recognition. As she tells the story “art is my thing” and so is transforming lives, one individual or family at a time. Because she can and because they need it, it’s just that simple, the Golden Rule in action.

Roberta you have always been a winner, so now we welcome you to our Winners Circle Naples Style.

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