Only an hour from Milan, on the shores of Lake Lugano, but in Swiss territory, one of the most picturesque views in Ticino opens up, and here lies a little all-Italian paradise: Campione d’Italia.
A secret Italian enclave in the heart of Switzerland
Campione d’Italia is a hidden gem in the heart of Europe. It is the only Italian enclave on foreign soil, between the basins of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. This picturesque resort is a destination that deserves special attention today, not only for its history, but also for its relaxed lifestyle. A discreet quiet luxury away from the typical show-off of other lakeside resorts.
Today, having crossed the Italian border and entered Switzerland, a charming passageway communicates the hybrid and offbeat nature of this fascinating place. The panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and the crystal clear waters of Lake Lugano make it a true oasis of peace and tranquility.
According to some theories about its etymology, Campione d’italia derives its name from Campillonium, which would have the meaning of Campi Liei, the ancient fields of Bacchus associated with the production of wine, or Campis Illionum, meaning fields of Greeks or Byzantines. A very ancient tradition, then, which continued through the Carolingian period, until the birth of the famous Maestri Campionesi. Sculptors, architects, originally from Campione who then spread their knowledge and built their masterpieces throughout Italy, from Milan and Monza to Cremona, Venice and Ferrara.
Traces of the past
Traces of the past are reflected in the narrow streets and alleys of the town and its well-preserved architecture. The Church of St. Zeno and the Oratory of St. Peter, built in the 16th century, are an example of architectural beauty and represent the religious heritage of the community. But the people of Campione, throughout their historical journey, were always devoted to one church in particular. The Church of Santa Maria dei Ghirli, overlooking the lake directly via a scenic flight of steps. This sacred place represented a point of arrival and departure and received the symbolic meaning of a “going into the unknown.”
The symbol of the Maestri Campionesi is the snail, because it was their custom to emigrate, taking their family and every possession with them, leaving the imprint of their journey, just like the trail of a snail. The snail’s shell, the cochlea, because of its spiral shape, has been interpreted as a universal symbol of temporality and the cyclical nature of evolution. Delving into deeper meanings, the spiral is also a constant symbol of the golden section, one of the compositional secrets of cathedral builders.
Luxury hospitality: The Grand Hotel Campione
Wondering where to stay in this oasis of peace? Elegantly located on the shores of Lake Lugano, EFNcommunication has chosen the Grand Hotel Campione, which perfectly expresses the concept of “tailor made” hospitality. Signed by Khamas Hospitality (Dubai), the Boutique Grand Hotel Campione is the right choice for those seeking luxury but also tranquility, all enhanced by spectacular views.
Campione is also illustrious for its gourmet restaurants, often associated with the comings and goings of the casino, but now increasingly a destination for gastronomic connoisseurs. Among them, the Grand Hotel Campione’s Valì Restaurant offers traditional Italian dishes, refined and prepared by expert chefs.
The partnership with Vertu Hospitality
To express the full potential of this enclave, Vertu Hospitality Group chose to seal a partnership with Grand Hotel Campione of all places. This quality-conscious and customer-focused collaboration aims to promote the area and create a strong community of enthusiasts in the hospitality industry. EFNcommunication had the opportunity to interview Gérald Lampaert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VERTU Hotels and Resorts. He told us why he was fascinated by the Campione reality:
“When you arrive at Hotel Campione every moment of your welcome is tailored to you. Everything will be perfectly ready, you will have access to your suite overlooking the lake, you will have a magnificent view of the mountains. This will give you an amazing and out-of-the-ordinary feeling. The welcome from the hotel management, entrusted to Mauro Griguoli, is equally exceptional. It perfectly reflects Vertu’s philosophy, immediately creating the human warmth that sets us apart in our work. As soon as you enter the lobby, the lounge will be cozy and you will immediately feel like getting comfortable. It is something that makes you feel at home, or even more than at home.”
Dream experiences on the waters of Lake Lugano
Nature and sports lovers will find plenty to do in Campione. Lake Lugano offers many opportunities, and the best is found on the water.
An aperitif on a boat in the sunset light in front of Madonna dei Ghirri’s terrace, a kayak ride to explore the meandering coastline, sailing, and why not, even fishing. The mountains, on the other hand, are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and scenic climbing.
Campione is a hidden Italian treasure, worth exploring for its natural beauty, rich history and fascinating culture. It offers a cozy, upscale experience, perfectly representing discreet, upscale luxury away from the hustle and bustle of the spotlight.