If a Campione residence permit is desired, you can get one almost as a matter of course by personally applying to the police in nearby Como, Italy. (See section Obtaining a Campione Residence Permit for more information.) Non-EC citizens should get a “long duration” residence permit for Italy from the Italian consulate for where they are resident. With an official residence certificate one may then go to the Ufficio Cantonale della Circolazione, in Camonino near Lugano, and, on the spot, get a Swiss driving license, Swiss license plates and Swiss car registration. In Campione, one will automatically get a Swiss listed telephone number.
The Campione telephone area code, by the way, is 41 (for Switzerland) followed by 91 (for Campione). Italian government equivalent services are theoretically available in Campione but no one in their right mind has anything to do with Italian government-run utilities if they can avoid it. Why? Here’s an example: Swiss mail services are the most efficient in the world. The Italian postal service has been known to take a month to deliver mail within the same town, in the unlikely event that there is no strike going on at the time. If there is a strike, you will wait until the Italian employees have called a truce. There is never an end to any Italian strike, only temporary truces. In Italy, government employees spend their time either striking or arguing with citizens, insisting that almost anything the customer wants is impossible. Or they argue with each other over soccer statistics while working people wait for service. Since they (Italian government employees) by law can’t ever be fired (unless they commit a crime) without a large severance allowance, their other activities, slowdowns, strikes and bickering, leave little time to perform essential services. The Italians are artistic, lovable anarchists, but don’t rely on them for the mail! Fortunately, in Campione, you don’t have to. For mail to Campione just use CH-6911. CH stands for Confederatio Helvetica or, if you prefer, Confederazione Elvetica in Italian. In case you didn’t know, that’s what the Swiss call Switzerland. For outgoing mail, use Swiss stamps and the post office located in downtown Campione. For incoming mail, use your Swiss postal code.
The Italian post code is 1-22060 CAMPIONE D’ITALIA (CO) in case you’re interested in the ( kudos of two addresses in two different countries for the price of one! Also, it may be helpful to send mail via Italy (with Italian stamps) if you want to delay a letter’s arrival, Use your Italian address for junk mail. It will often get lost. As an added bonus, if you acquire residency, you can take all your personal belongings into Campione (which is a Swiss customs zone) as messerizie, personal effects. Of course, who’s to know if you take along a few goodies to sell?
If you apply for residence or hold an Italian passport, you qualify for free health care. The tab is picked up by the Swiss. The local Italian health authority is Como’s USSL 80 (Unita Socio Sanitaria Locale). This service has a branch in the Corso, whose tiled exterior makes it look more like a swimming complex.
Just about the only negative factor is that Switzerland has now introduced VAT, called IVA/TVA/MWST but this is lower than the rate in Italy.