Campione d'Italia is an Italian 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.
In its small area of 1,6 km² in 2007 live 2,190 inhabitants with a density of 1.368,8 ab./km²
The enclave is less than 1 km at the shortest point from the rest of Italy, but the hilly terrain requires a journey by road of over 14 km to reach the nearest Italian town, Lanzo d'Intelvi, and over 28 km to reach the city of Como.
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.
In 777 Totone da Campione left the territory to the Milan and to the Monastry of Saint Ambrogio. This act split Campione from the Lecco territory, and create a special dealing of Campione with Milan.
In fact, when Ticino chose to become part of the Swiss Confederation in 1798, Campione's people chose to remain part of Lombardy, which subsequently became part of Italy in 1859.
After the II Indepence War and the set up of the Kingdom of Italy, the Swiss and the italian Governments revised the border that was already established with many difficulties with the Treaty of Varese (1752). The new Convention of 5 October 1861 provided the transfer to Switzerland of the Coast of Saint Martin, on the other river of the lake.
In 1933, the Italian Government modified the name of the Municipality in “Campione d’Italia”.
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 and the euro is widely accepted.
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. Campione d'Italia is naturally oriented to cross border cooperation.
Juridical, social, administrative issues are solved step by step with the administrations of the two Countries, according to the economic, social, environmental progresses.