Dr. Roberto Bellucci, former president of ESCRS, is a physician who has conducted successful studies in the field of ophthalmology for many years. His son Dr. Carlo Bellucci is a passionate ophthalmology resident who follows his father’s footsteps. He told us that he has learned so much from his father, while his father, Dr. Roberto Bellucci, says that he just passed on his father’s pieces of advice to his son.
Dr. Roberto Bellucci was born in the central part of Italy. He was 5 years old when they moved to the north where he completed his medical training. All his children chose different professions, except for Dr. Carlo Bellucci. His other son has chosen to proceed in the medical field and is working as a psychologist at a clinic.
His eldest daughter has a career in the field of archeology where she conducts excavation works in many different countries from Libya to Syria.
Roberto Bellucci is also a grandfather, thanks to his eldest daughter. His other daughter was trained in the field of communication. As a proud father, Dr. Bellucci says that he feels really fortunate to have such a great wife and family.
We hope you will enjoy reading our conversation with Dr. Roberto Bellucci and his son, Dr. Carlo Bellucci.
How would you summarize your career?
Roberto Bellucci: After working as a physician for many years in the city of Verona, Italy, one of the most touristic places of Italy with delightful wine and historical buildings, I took the position as the chief of the same hospital. Following a long service, I retired and moved to lake Garda, a beautiful part of Italy close to Verona. I considered myself lucky.
How did you meet your wife?
Roberto Bellucci: I met my wife at a seaside town on a holiday. We were both very young. I fell for her green eyes. “Bellucci” means beautiful eyes in Italian, and my surname found the perfect meaning in her eyes. We got married soon after we met; I was just 25 years old then, which is a bit early age for an Italian man to get married. However early marriages may bring long and lasting relationships. It’s been 42 years now, and we have four wonderful children. Our daughters have their mother’s eyes, and our sons have my eyes.
Ophthalmology is your passion. What other passions do you have?
Roberto Bellucci: Sea and sailing is a real passion for me. We live quite close to Lake Garda. When I was young, I even participated in various championships with small boats. I still enjoy windsurfing. Thanks to where I live, I’m able to make the most of whatever nature offers. I can also find hiking and trekking opportunities. When it comes to winter sports, I enjoy skiing whenever I can. To be honest, it costs a pretty penny doing this sport with the kids, but we still try to go skiing as much as possible.
Music is also essential in my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn to play any instruments, which I enormously regret. Maybe that’s why I always encouraged my children. Today, all of my kids are playing an instrument. They compose a small orchestra when they all come together. Two of them play piano, one plays electric guitar, and Carlo plays the keyboards.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers, please?
Carlo Bellucci: I was born in northern Italy in 1989. I received my medical education between the years 2009 and 2016. My father had a great impact on shaping my career. He was always an inspiring guide for me. I’m completing my ophthalmology training with master ophthalmologists such as my father.
So how do you feel about music and what are your other hobbies?
Carlo Bellucci: I have been playing piano since I was six. After a while, I started to practice with a keyboard. I even played in a rock band. When it comes to sports, just like my father, I really enjoy skiing during wintertime. On the other hand, I also like watching films and TV series, as well as playing computer games. I’m also interested in technology.
What was the most significant advice you give to your son about your profession?
Roberto Bellucci: The more you enjoy your job, the more successful you will become. And it won’t feel like you are working. I’m committed to my job with passion; that’s why I have been working with love all these years without feeling obliged. I would like my son to have this perspective… for him to see this passion and excitement I have for my job and have that same excitement himself. I showed him all the pros and cons of ophthalmology but allowed him to choose whatever he wants. Our kids may not choose the life we prepare for them; they can make their own choices.
mong the Italian wines, I can recommend “Lugana” to white wine lovers and “Amarone” to red wine lovers. Amarone is one of the most famous wines in Italy. It is made of dried grapes (not sweet), and I promise you will be enchanted by its smell.
Can you tell us about the things you’ve learned from your father that shaped your life?
Carlo Bellucci: There are countless things that I have learned from my father… but the most significant advice is to aim for the highest, the best, and the top, regardless of the field I choose to proceed. Never give up on the road to the top. However, while walking on this road, protect your surroundings, protect your ethical values, and never lose love and respect.
I have also learned from my father to enjoy life and be contented and happy with what I have. Just like my father, I’m trying to add passion to anything I do in my professional and private life.
Well, what have you learned from your son?
Roberto Bellucci: I have learned many things from my son. Carlo is passionate and smart. He also has his feet on the ground, and he can control his emotions. When we find ourselves in an unexpected situation, he knows how to deal with it; he stays calmer than me. I have to admit that my son has taught me a better way to show my emotions in certain circumstances. He also helps me see things from different perspectives, and most importantly, he is very good at finding a balance between his professional and private life.
I suppose this is where 33 years of difference between us comes into the picture. Seeing things from my son’s point of view contributes a lot to my life.
Is there any advice that your father gave you which you passed on to your children?
Roberto Bellucci: My father was full of life, and he was really energetic. He had worked as a clerk for a long time. He was writing his second book on Italian law just before he passed away. He taught me to never give up; that I can achieve extraordinary outcomes if I work with dedication and determination. Moreover, he used to say, “always wake up 1 hour earlier and organize your day ahead!” That is what I passed on to my children.
DR. ROBERTO BELLUCCI’S OPINION ABOUT COVID-19
The pandemic has prompted us to re-organize our facility and job: The facility has been modified to keep distances between patients. Only one accompanying person is allowed. Appointments have been re-scheduled one every 30 minutes, decreasing efficiency. Maximum 4 people are present at the same time in the office. Patients are asked not to come if they have fever or if they have been in touch with positive patients during the last 15 days. On admission they are scanned for body temperature, they must wear masks and gloves. The secretary has been provided with transparent plastic shields. All the equipment is cleansed after each use. Trial frames are used once per day (I have many) and then disinfected with alcohol. Trial lenses are used once per day and then soap washed. Rebound tonometer is used with disposable needles. I use mask and gloves during the visit, washing my hands once or twice per visit. Floors are cleansed daily.
DR. CARLO BELLUCCI’S OPINION ABOUT COVID-19
As for the COVID-19 situation, In the hospital of Parma where I’m completing my residency we had a dramatic situation and doctors of Intensive Care and Internal medicine wards asked for help from every doctor in the hospital. I stopped my work in the ophthalmology clinic and I began to work as volunteer in those wards where COVID-19 affected people were hospitalized. As my opinion, this virus showed us that we are not as though and strong as we were convinced to be, but also showed that we are capable of incredible altruism, empathy and love. I hope that when this situation will be over, we will keep showing these feelings and taking care of each other as we are doing right now.
Even though they do not work in the same clinic, the father and son exchange their views on the field of ophthalmology whenever they can. Dr. Roberto Bellucci says that they nurture each other while evaluating current events and technological developments.