City Hopper: Campione, D’italia
My next stop is a rather interesting place. It’s an enclave that is completely surrounded by Switzerland however it is actually part of Italy. You see, Campione is sovereign Italian territory!
To make matters even more confusing the currency here is Swiss Francs but politically this magical place belongs to Como which is the nearest Italian town. Are you confused yet?
How did this all happen you ask? Well I found this explanation from the website www.escapeartist.com: “Some 13 centuries ago in the year 787 CE, that area of Lake Lugano was ruled by a man who so appreciated the craftsmanship of the Milanese designers, that he ceded the site of Campione to the church of San Ambrogio in Milan. Since that date, Switzerland has complied with this unique grant. Which means that today, happily situated within the country of Switzerland is an Italian city that is subject to Italian law—with some rather interesting exceptions. “
If you go to the website mentioned above you’ll also find out that residents of Campione can have either a Swiss zip code or an Italian zip code but most opt for the Swiss one in order to take advantage of the more efficient Swiss post office. Basically residents here can get the best that Switzerland and Italy have to offer.
It’s a beautiful place with an amazingly huge casino. It’s actually the biggest casino in the whole of Europe and when Switzerland had gambling prohibition about 10 years ago everyone was gambling ‘in Italy’ even when the town was actually in Switzerland.
The casino has a fantastic view onto the lake and is 10 stories. Each floor is a gamblers’ paradise! (Click on this link to check it out!)
Here’s a nice little video to give you an idea of what it looks like here:
There’s many churches here but one of the most prominent is the Church of S. Maria dei Ghirli seen below.
Here’s another really short video with beautiful video of Campione, D’italia:
Come back next week to catch up with me at my next City Hopper city! See you then!