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Dining In An Italian Town In The Middle of Switzerland

Updated on March 20, 2011

Campione d'Italia is a tax-free haven which combines the best of Switzerland on Italian soil

Imagine living in a magnificent Italian Alpine lakeside town, but with a twist. Yes, you are on Italian soil, in the province of Como, get all your government services in Italian, speak Italian everywhere, but you are surrounded by Switzerland on all sides!

Campione d'Italia is just that place. Due to the vagaries of history it is a little piece of Italy that got marooned inside Switzerland. In order to reach it from the rest of Italy you have to drive through Switzerland. Even if you go by boat on the large Lake Lugano, you'll still have to cross Swiss waters! Campione d'Italia citizens have:

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The magnificent Campione d'Italia. A piece of Italy surrounded by Switzerland on all sidesThe views from Campione across Lake Lugano are spectacularThe magnificent fountain in front of the largest casino in EuropeCampione's Arch celebrates its unique Italian exclave status.This is the extent of Italian land within Switzerland itselfMichelin Starred Chef Bernard Fournier (left) is the genius behind the fine cuisine at La CandidaFois Gras Scaloppine is one of Chef Fournier's finest creations
The magnificent Campione d'Italia. A piece of Italy surrounded by Switzerland on all sides
The magnificent Campione d'Italia. A piece of Italy surrounded by Switzerland on all sides
The views from Campione across Lake Lugano are spectacular
The views from Campione across Lake Lugano are spectacular
The magnificent fountain in front of the largest casino in Europe
The magnificent fountain in front of the largest casino in Europe
Campione's Arch celebrates its unique Italian exclave status.
Campione's Arch celebrates its unique Italian exclave status.
This is the extent of Italian land within Switzerland itself
This is the extent of Italian land within Switzerland itself
Michelin Starred Chef Bernard Fournier (left) is the genius behind the fine cuisine at La Candida
Michelin Starred Chef Bernard Fournier (left) is the genius behind the fine cuisine at La Candida
Fois Gras Scaloppine is one of Chef Fournier's finest creations
Fois Gras Scaloppine is one of Chef Fournier's finest creations

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Swiss post office, motor vehicle licensing, telephone service, internet connection, .ch domain suffix, public health system, customs office and banking in Swiss Franc currency.

Italian law, judiciary and police, municipal administration, electrical supply, language, citizenship, newspapers and media, and a huge new casino owned by the Italian government which is the largest in all of Europe.

Confused yet? You will be even more when you learn that Italy cannot levy income taxes on Campione since their tax collectors would have to pass through foreign soil to collect which is against Italian law, and Switzerland doesn't levy taxes because Campione is foreign land. So guess what? No income or local taxes!!!

A place this unique has to have a special cuisine to match and Campione is no exception. There are many fine restaurants in Campione, such as the Rally Club for excellent "northern" pizza, the friendly Ristorante Rialdo, and the superlative Tavola di Totone directly inside the new massive casino building, but if you are in Campione, there is absolutely no option but to dine at one of the finest restaurants within many miles, Da Candida.

The Michelin starred Chef Bernard Fournier has truly brought some spectacular cuisine to this Italian exclave. The Brittany Seafood Platter is exquisite in its rich and savory natural broth, the Foie Gras Duck Terrine is served with a delectable Onion Jam which resembles a French Chutney, and the Perch Fillet is encrusted in a crunchy potato and cabbage coating that literally crackles in your mouth. Chef Fournier is a worshipper at the altar of Foie Gras, as he also serves a Duck Foie Gras Scaloppina (thin slices) which he caramelizes in butter and sugar with golden apple slices. Some of his many delectable dishes include venison entrecote stewed in a Merlot sauce, fine tuna tartare with capers and shallots, a gigantic open faced raviolo overflowing with porcini mushrooms, and to finish off in style, you can enjoy a Creme Brulee seasoned with fresh lavender!

Chef Fournier at Da Candida has certainly blended the finest regional delicacies into a completely unique and rare tapestry, just like Campione d'Italia itself.

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