Campione d'Italia
 
Nestled on the shores of Lake Lugano and at the foot of the steep Alpine slopes of Monte Generoso, Campione is an Italian exclave (a portion of the country disconnected from the main part because it is surrounded by another country — not to be confused with an enclave) located within the Swiss canton of Ticino. The village is about 1 square mile in size and has approximately 3,000 inhabitants. The enclave has a gap of less than 1 km as the crow flies, but the rough terrain means the journey by road is over 10km. It is possible to reach Campione from Italy through the lake. Even though Italy administers local governmental functions and it is governed by Rome via the administrative province of Como, part of Campione's longstanding stability is due to its economic and executive integration with Switzerland; it uses the Swiss Franc as its monetary unit (though Italian taxes are paid). Its infrastructure is also largely Swiss, including postal services, telephone numbers and car plates.
Though existing outside of its fatherland, this tiny piece of Italian soil is home to the famous Casinò Municipale di Campione d'Italia, which is the area's largest employer and an institution of the Italian government. In effect, Campione can be either Italian or Swiss in character, depending on your point of view or from which angle it is examined. Campione's unique status arose because while Ticino became a part of the Swiss Confederation in 1803, the people of Campione chose to remain a part of the Kingdom of Lombardy. After the fall of Napoleon, at the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Swiss tried unsuccessfully to claim Campione as their own. In 1859, Lombardy was transferred to the sovereignty of Victor Emmanuel, who would in 1861 become the first King of a newly-unified Italy. As it grew into one of Italy's wealthiest and most affluent communities, this transformation did not go unnoticed by Mussolini; he proudly appended “d'Italia” to Campione's appellation. It was he who also granted permission, in the 1930s, for the town to open a casino.
 
 
Several gold coins were issued by the Casino from 1950-1972 “to be used like tokens at the roulette table.” They all bear the name “Communitas Campilioni”, which is Latin for Community/City of Campione. The casino was founded in 1917, opened in 1933, and is owned by the Italian government, and operated by the municipality. The income from the casino is sufficient for the operation of Campione without the imposition of taxes, or obtaining of other revenue. The casino offers roulette, chemin de fer, baccarat, black jack, poker, and slot machines. Website of the casino can be viewed at: http://www.casinocampione.it/

I purchased the 1964 20 Franchi 6.00g .900Au reeded edge coin from novacoins (novacoins@hotmail.com). As Nova Marketing SA, their Web-site is: http://www.novamarketing.ch/. 20 Franchi coin dropped it's weight from 6.6g in 1950 to 4.9g in 1970. Campione also issued its own stamps on May 20, 1944. They remained valid long after the end of WWII, until May 31, 1952.

 

 
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