Sense of Place: Selma Nettles

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Photo by Michael Caronchi.

Selma Nettles has long been an ardent supporter of the arts, and does so with quiet grace. A resident of Naples since 2004, she also has a vacation home in New Hampshire. The philanthropic Neapolitan becomes inspired in part by changing her environment through travel and taking classes on divergent topics. Her shelves are filled with books on cognitive change and conflict resolution, yet she notes that she also spends “a fair amount of time in horse barns with my grandchildren.”

Here, Nettles shares her favorite places, things, and experiences in Naples.


1. Personal passions: Collecting art, attending art fairs and exhibits, and Argentine tango.

2. Entertaining essentials: Making people feel special the minute they walk in the door, Diptyque Baies scented candles, and dessert from Tony’s Off Third.

3. Treasured travel spot: New York City, anytime—and I like the Surrey Hotel.

Aerial view of New York City and Empire State Building.

4. Favorite restaurant: Sea Salt.

5. Favorite artist: This is like picking a favorite child. My most recent painting is from Harmon Meek | Modern by Gabriella Dellosso Gonzalez called Varo’s Moon. She combines Old World skill with surreal subject matter.

6. Favorite reads: All of George Friedman’s books for his different perspective on global events. Most recently I read Never Split the Difference by former hostage negotiator Chris Voss.

7. Favorite fashion designer (of the moment): Dior, elegant and easy to wear.

8. Esteemed jewelry designers: Inbar from Marissa Collections, pearls from Pierre & Harry, and Jennifer Kalled’s stunning opals.

9. Go-to scent: Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc.

10. Favorite local spa: Azul Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa, Dr. Flaherty. It is both relaxing and therapeutic.

11. Where to take out-of-town guests: They come to relax and love the beach. Naples Paddleboard is a good way to quickly outfit them for paddleboarding or kiteboarding.

12. Can’t-miss workout: HIT Fitness with my trainer Giselle Feraco.

13. Nonprofits she supports: The Shelter for Abused Women & Children, the StayInMay Festival, and anywhere
Maestro William Noll performs.

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