Entering both Italy and Switzerland is usually trouble-free and rarely involves anything more than cursory customs and immigration checks.
Duty-free sales within the EU no longer exist (but goods are sold tax-free in European airports). On leaving the EU, non-EU citizens can reclaim any Value Added Tax (VAT) on expensive purchases. Note that this applies to Swiss citizens and residents too.
Not required for EU citizens. Nationals of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the US do not need visas for visits of up to 90 days.
Citizens of EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland do not need a visa to visit Italy. Nationals of some other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and the US, do not require visas for tourist visits of up to 90 days. For more information and a list of countries whose citizens require a visa, check the website of the Italian foreign ministry (www.esteri.it).
The standard tourist visa issued by Italian consulates is the Schengen visa, valid for up to 90 days. This visa is valid for travel in Italy and in several other European countries with which Italy has a reciprocal visa agreement (see www.eurovisa.info for the full list). These visas are not renewable inside Italy.