For transportation, the major city of Milan and its two international airports are only an hour’s drive away. Public transport is available and costs about US $15 each way. It is best to buy a round-trip ticket from Italy as Swiss transport is more expensive. Malpensa airport is closer tc Campione, but Milan’s Linate airport is served by a more direct autostrada. There are dozen; of flights every day from Milan’s airports to every major city in the world Lugano has a small airport for private planes and another served mainly by domestic Swiss airlines. There is a daily Crossair flight direct to London City Airport in the Docklands but it is expensive at Sfr 1400 round trip. The round trip to London (with free train ticket) via Zurich is Sfr 400. If you arrived at Zurich International, it would be possible to avoid the four hour train ride by coming to Lugano with the local commuter airline. As already mentioned, there is a regular ferry from Lugano to Campione (see the schedule at the end of this section), or one could take a 15 minute ride, by taxi. We prefer to fly into Milan or Zurich from abroad and rent a car for the round-trip to Campione.
Because Campione is so small there is no municipal transport system.
It is possible to walk anywhere in town, even if you are carrying a small suitcase. This makes it fairly convenient to travel to and from Campione even without a car. The distances from downtown to the top of the hill by road is about three miles, due to all the switchbacks. The pedestrian however can take footpaths and stairs for shortcuts.
For international travel, you can take the ferry-boat to Lugano and from there take a high speed train to almost anywhere in Europe. Most Europeans who are not in a great hurry take trains.
In Europe they are clean, fast, on time, safe and always drop you in the center of town. Often, it is faster and less bothersome to travel by train than by air. This is due to the relatively short distances between European destinations when compared to those in the US. Trains within Europe are also usually half the price of air travel. The train to Lugano from Milan, for instance, leaves once an hour, takes 1 hour 20 minutes and costs around US $9. Buses tend to be a little more expensive than trains. In Europe, long-distance coaches which Americans call “Greyhounds” are often called “Pullmans”, and serve many locations not reached by trains. One runs twice daily to and from Milan direct to Campione. There is also a Lake Lugano ferry to Porto Ceresio in Italy which allows one to travel between Campione and mainland Italy without crossing a Swiss border. See section on “Entering Switzerland without Visa”.
For those who don‘t like to drive, it is possible to travel from Campione without a personal car. But we have found that with light traffic and plenty of parking, it is much more convenient to own a car if you live there. As mentioned, if you are visiting, it is best to rent a car at the Milan or Zurich airports and drive into Campione. Petrol and motorways tend to be expensive in Italy and prone to delays at toll gates. Zurich is three hours by train to the north. Driving time from Zurich is about four hours. If you keep a car in Campione, while on short trips abroad, you can park in commercial garages near Milan airport or train station. You can also park near Lugano railway station.
Coming back, without a car and with only a small amount of luggage, it’s easy to get public transport to Lugano and once there, simply take the boat across Lake Lugano to Campione. If you go anywhere by car, Campione’s town gate is on top of a major motorway known as the A-9. Once on the autostrada system you can drive to almost any destination in Europe without encountering a single stop sign or red light. Until recently there were no speed limits in Germany and Italy. In Switzerland, the speed limit is 130kph on autoroutes. But good things don’t last forever, and the Italians and Swiss are now starting to enforce a llOkph (77 miles per hour) restriction, plus a law on wearing seat belts. Not necessarily a bad thing because these limits really do help save your ass if not your assets.
As of 1994, Swiss customs that board the train do not check all passengers and I have managed to get to Lugano without travel documents. The return to Italy was standard however – a grilling from the customs officer: “Are you Italian?”
“Have you anything to declare?”
“Would you open your case please?”
“Why is this check in your possession?”
“I work for an English company”
“Do you have any others?”
“Have you any accounts abroad?”
“Yes, but I am resident abroad.”
“Since I was bom”
“Ok, good evening.”