A small “reverse Brexit” has taken place at the beginning of this year on the shores of Lake Lugano, with a town moving back inside the borders of the European Union.

A picture of Lake Lugano and a picturesque town on its shores
Campione d'Italia is located in the Ticino area of Switzerland, less than 30 kilometres away from Italy © chaoss/Getty Images lugano

The town of Campione d’Italia is located on the shores of Lake Lugano and counts around 2000 residents. It had been an Italian enclave in Switzerland since the 1860s, formally part of Italy’s territory but practically managed like the rest of the Swiss Confederation - which isn’t part of the European Union, it bears reminding.

A picture of the waterfront of Campione d'Italia with the massive casino
Campione d'Italia's main attraction was the massive casino designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, which went bankrupt © Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

Everything has changed now, following a request from Rome to Brussels asking for the official return of Campione d’Italia into the European Union customs area - a request which was approved and carried out starting 1 January 2020.

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It will definitely be a big chance for the residents of Campione d’Italia since up until 2019 they used Swiss phone data, currency, licence plates and services. A petition was started up by some of them to protest the move, but it didn’t have any effect and today Campione d’Italia is effectively part of Italy. For tourists, this change will mean remembering to have some euros at hand as well as Swiss francs and to consider the fact that they will be crossing a European Union border when visiting.

An aerial shot of the Italian city of Como
Campione d'Italia is now officially in the province of Como, in the region of Lombardy © Murat Natan / EyeEm

If you’d like to know more, you can look at Campione d’Italia official website here.

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