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Campione D'Italia

:''Campione redirects here. For the football song, see Campione 2000''

'''Campione d'Italia''' is an Italian ''comune'' (municipality) of the Province of Como in the Lombardy region, occupying an enclave within the Swiss canton of Ticino, separated from the rest of Italy by Lake Lugano and mountains. The enclave is less than 1km at the shortest point from the rest of Italy, but the hilly terrain requires a journey by road of over 14km to reach the nearest Italian town, Lanzo d'Intelvi, and over 28km to reach the city of Como.


Map showing the location of the Campione enclave near the center.
First settlements in the area date back to the first century BC, when the Romans founded the garrison town of ''Campilonum'' to protect their territories from Helvetii invasion attempts.

Its status came about when Ticino chose to become part of the Swiss Confederation in 1798, and Campione's people chose to remain part of Lombardy, which subsequently became part of Italy in 1859. An alternative explanation is that, in the year 787, the lands of what is present-day Campione were controlled by a man who ceded this land to the Church of San Ambrogio in Milan as a token of appreciation for the skill of the Milanese craftsmen. The ''d'Italia'' was added to the appellation under Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, who was keen to showcase Campione to its neighbours.

During World War II, the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) the predecessor of the CIA, maintained a unit in Campione and used it for operations into Italy. At the time the pro-Nazi Italian regime did not have control over the enclave. The Swiss turned a blind eye to the situation as long as the Americans kept a low profile. Separate stamps were issued during this period inscribed "Campione d'Italia" and valued in Swiss Francs.

Economy and administration

Campione has a considerable amount of economic and administrative integration with Switzerland. Because of its particular status, legal tender in the town is the Swiss Franc "''... pur essendo territorio italiano Campione è doganalmente ed economicamente svizzero. Così pure la moneta e la rete telefonica.'' ("... although being Italian territory, Campione is customs-wise and economically Swiss. Also the currency and the telephone network.")
but the Euro is widely accepted; Italian citizens residing in Campione must abide by Swiss law regarding customs duties. Currently, car plates are not Italian, but Swiss; similarly, the telephone system is almost entirely operated by Swisscom, meaning that calls from Italy and all other countries outside Switzerland (with very few exceptions such as calling the city hall) require the international dialing code for Switzerland (+41) and the Ticino area code (91). Mail may be sent using either a Swiss postal code or an Italian one using Switzerland or Italy as destination country respectively.

Pursuant to bilateral agreements, Italians residing in Campione also benefit from many services and facilities located in Swiss territory, such as hospital care, that would otherwise be available only to Swiss residents.

Like the Italian town of Livigno, it is exempt from the EU VAT. Campione takes advantage of its status by operating a famous casino, the Casinò di Campione, as gambling laws are less strict than in both Italy and Switzerland (also a legacy of the pre-World War II era).


File:campione-ditalia.jpg|Entrance to Campione d'Italia.
File:Campioned'Italia.JPG|View across Lake Lugano.

Source: Wikipedia