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Google Earth Plug-in: Italian Town in Switzerland

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Campione d'Italia is an Italian town and commune of Lombardy, occupying an enclave within the Swiss canton of Ticino, separated from the rest of Italy by Lake Lugano and mountains. The enclave has a gap of less than 1 km as the crow flies, but the rough terrain means the journey by road is over 10 km.

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 1871. The d'Italia was added to the appellation under Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, who was keen to showcase Campione to its neighbours.

Campione has a considerable amount of economic and administrative integration with Switzerland, using the Swiss franc, and benefiting from special customs arrangements to allow Italian citizens to cross Swiss territory. Car plates are not Italian, but Swiss; similarly, the telephone system is almost entirely operated by Swisscom, meaning that calls from Italy (with very few exceptions such as calling the city hall) require the international dialling code for Switzerland and the Ticino area code: 00 41 91. Mail may be sent using either a Swiss postal code or an Italian one.

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

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