A special trip for our readers is to patronize the supermarkets and discount clothing stores at the giant commercial shopping center just off the freeway in nearby Chiasso. This operation was set up at the Italian-Swiss border to serve day-trippers from Italy in search of bargains. It’s a genuine shopper’s paradise. Avoid the crowds on weekends. You will save half on almost anything! You can’t miss the two giant hypermarkets Migros and the Co-op. They are located just off the A-9 expressway at Chiasso. Within Switzerland, the Migros chain (with stores in Lugano) always offers good value at discount prices. Campionese tend to buy their clothing in Milan! Not the cheapest place. Rome is far cheaper and only four and a half hours away by high speed train.
The most amazing discovery we made while living in Campione was that in nearby Bioggio, west of Lugano, there is a factory outlet store for top quality famous brand name Bally shoes.
You can get factory seconds on running shoes, walking boots and formal dress shoes at up to 90 per cent off store prices.
Nearby is the Alpenrose Chocolate Factory which offers free tours and chocolates as well as chocolates at wholesale prices.
Near Sonvico, past the Lugano stadium, is a huge Swiss discount supermarket called Lucky. Even bigger and better discount stores are in Varese (Italy) where you’ll find the lper-Market and in Como where the Bennett is big, good and only a 20 minute drive from Campione.
For furnishing a house or apartment, you may like the new Ikea. It’s a Swedish discount furniture department store near the Lugano-Sud (south) exit, in Switzerland. The Swedish lunches are tasty and the best restaurant deal in Lugano.
Another good lunch buffet is to be found at any of the big Innovazione department stores, try Chiasso or Lugano.
As with any place, depending on what you wish to buy, it is necessary to shop around for the best quality and prices. Alcohol and cigarettes are cheaper in Switzerland. Meat, fish and most farm products are much cheaper in Italy. Commercial sex is more available and cheaper in Italy (as one would expect). Surprisingly, relatively hard core pornography is on cable television in Switzerland every night.