A travel titbit of interest to all our readers, even those not thinking of actually moving to Campione, is that via this little known tax haven you can freely enter and leave Switzerland without a visa. Visitors to Campione from non-EC countries normally require a visa not only for Italy but also for Switzerland as one has to pass through Swiss Customs in order to reach Campione. If you do not have a visa or do not wish to obtain one, this requirement can be circumvented by taking a trip to Porto Ceresio, in Italy on the southern shore of Lake Lugano. From there, take the ferry to Campione. This trip does not require a visa as you “technically” never leave Italy. The service operates approximately every three to five hours.
Once inside Campione, you can easily enter Switzerland by boat, bus or taxi. The only problem may be that you may have to leave Switzerland via the same route. Swiss customs arc in operation at Lugano’s port, but usually no officers are present. The Swiss rarely, if ever, cheek anyone leaving the country. You can also move between Italy and Switzerland by train and get off the tram once across the border (Como and Chiasso respectively). Once inside the country of your destination, buy a ticket for the rest of your journey. Immigration officers won’t think that you just entered the country and therefore won’t ask to see your passport.

You would do well to get a Swiss newspaper and to get on the train just before or after they do so they won’t see you get on the train. If you don’t speak French, German or Italian like a mother tongue speaker, play deaf.

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