Spotlight on Milan

Italian hair transplant surgeon Dr Vincenzo Gambino shares his insider knowledge on the beautiful city of Milan.

What do you love most about Milan?

Aside from being a wonderful, sophisticated Italian city, the location is perfect. I can drive to Switzerland in 45 minutes and Monte Carlo in two hours. By train, car or plane, I can go anywhere in Europe easily.

What’s the best way to see the city?Milan2

Milan is a walking city. Like all Italian cities its centre is the Duomo, which means cathedral in Italian. From there the city radiates in a circle; exploring by foot is the best way to get around!

What are the best places to stay?

My favourite hotel is the Principe Di Savoia, a belle époque grand hotel that’s been renovated but maintains its old fashioned glamour. In the past few years Milan has built many great new hotels, including The Bulgari, Four Seasons, Mandarin Orient, Hyatt and Palazzo Parigi.

What are the must-sees when travelling there?

Start at the Duomo. Two steps from there is the Galleria, an historic arcade under a glass ceiling leading to the opera house La Scala and steps from the castle Sforzesco. Leonardo’s Last Supper is a must- see. And Via Monte Napoleone and the neighbouring streets offer the best shopping in the world for the great designers.

What are the top three eating spots?

Choosing just three places is almost impossible because there are so many fabulous places to eat at all price points. If I have to narrow to three, it’s Bice for the food and people watching, Giacomo at the top of the Museo Novecento for the fabulous view overlooking the Duomo and sophisticated food, and Casa Lucia which is a great bistro near my home. For lunch, try Paper Moon and Armani Café.

And the locals’ best-kept secret?

My wife and her friends have found some outlets where she always tell me she’s saved me money! I’ve been told Magazzini Firme has amazing designer bargains.

What’s the most unique or unusual place to visit there?Milan3

During his lifetime Leonardo da Vinci drew plans for a giant bronze horse but never realised the project. An American philanthropist made it a reality and today it stands in front of the racetrack – it’s really spectacular to see.

Anything extra you would like to add?

I was born in Sicily and have been to almost all of Italy but for me the best place is really Milan – if it had the sea it would be perfect!

Now a little bit about you…

What led you to pursue a career in hair transplantation surgery?DrGambino

It’s a funny story. I was young, living in New York, recently married and trying to find my place in the world. A friend of my wife saw
a blind ad in The New York Times and I answered it. I was interviewed for a position in Hair Transplantation. I didn’t even know what that was. That day changed my life.

What’s been a career highlight for you?

For me the highlight was being President of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). It was an honour to serve the most prestigious medical society in my field.

What’s your experience of practising in Milan?

In Italy, patients come to doctors because of reputation more than price. I have a close relationship with my patients. They have my cell phone number and can call me 24 hours a day. It’s very personal.