So there we were, flying into Milano in an Italian 'plane that had the green, white and red on its body, and it was FUN ! That is to say, the arriving at Malpensa was fun; the Alitalia ... um ... conditions were *not* fun, and were significantly less attractive than the national Website would have you believe; but I think it was just an old 'plane. And I did subsequently get quite a lot of free flying off Alitalia; the bloke who gave it to me knew, though we didn't, then !, they were about to pull out of Sydney, and thought we'd never be able to claim on it ... but he was wrong <grin>.
Malpensa is a really nice airport. It's only now that I find out it doesn't have ground radar. Gulp.
We took the airport train in to Cadorna, not yet totally fazed by the heat and exulting in hearing Italian spoken all around us.
The hotel was fine, only the desk staff were not; desk staff who talk down to people *deserve* to have to deal with Aussies !  ;-)
The room was small, especially for the money; but hey, this is Milano ! -- and the view from our room's window was worth it. Nothing absolutely marvellous -- just ... Milano. Wonderful ! I was struck by how happy I was to be back, and revelled in the realisation.
During that first day we found; a nice caffè in which to read La Gazzetta dello Sport (once we'd yanked it from those hogging it !); a super little museum only a block away from our hotel; a risto where they served about the most delicious pizza in the world; a shop selling utterly divine fruit whizz drinks to offset the heat that had now got to us;  la Stazione Centrale (cheating -- we already knew where that was !); a Tuscan ristorante where everything was served on the table in its cooking vessel ... yeah, we really got a lot into that day ! -- for us, that's a lot. And ALL interesting
Next day we visited the Duomo, which we'd missed last time; to describe it as 'beautiful' is simply not good enough. It has to be seen !
We shopped a wee bit, and diversely -- from a nice jacket for CS to a nail-file for me. It's true that Milano is expensive, but everything's *good*.
We also visited the wonderful Castello Sforzesco and spent quite a lot of time there -- all of which was *well* worth it to we castle-fiends.
I absolutely LOVE Milano.
And finally, a couple of days later, we took the train from my favourite station down to La Spezia to collect our hire car for the next part of our wonderful journey ...