Travel Guide: Campione

ept-thumb-promo.jpgLater this month, the PokerStars European Poker Tour will be making its first stop in the beautiful city of Campione, a small Italian village located within Switzerland on the edge of Lake Lugano. The destination is a must-see for travel enthusiasts as Campione offers breathtaking views and a rare taste of Italy and Switzerland that you won't find anywhere else.

The EPT makes its way to Campione on March 26 with a €5,000 + €300 main event buy-in as well as the usual spectacular range of side events, including a €3,200 heads up event, a €1,100 "Win the Button" event, and a €10,000 High Roller 8-max event.

"We're very excited that the tour is for the first time heading to the highly exclusive region of Campione in Italy, further extending the reach of the EPT," EPT President Edgar Stuchly.

If you're heading to Campione, there are plenty of attractions to see outside of the casino. You'll definitely regret not taking in the sights and sounds of Italy, so read on to find out some of the popular allures of the city.

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Getting Around

The most popular way to get to Campione is by flying into one of Milan's two airports, which host direct flights from most European capital cities and many international cities. Malpensa Airport is a 50-minute drive from Campione, and Linate Airport is an estimated two-hour drive away. If you fly into Agno Airport in Lugano in Switzerland, you're looking at only a 20 minute drive to Campione.

Once you've arrived, you'll definitely want to take in the scenic views of the surrounding lakes and mountains and saunter into the small village. Campione is small enough to get around on foot, but the hills above the lakefront can be steep so the bus might be the best option to move from place to place. Taxis can also be found on the main roads in Campione and nearby Lugano.

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If you decide to rent a car to drive to Campione, remember that a special coupon must be displayed on all cars when driving on Swiss motorways. This coupon is available at Swiss Customs posts and petrol stations.

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Staying Put

Your purpose for the trip is probably to reach an EPT final table and collect a massive payday, in which case you'll be spending most of your time in the beautiful Casino di Campione. The casino was founded in 1917 and opened in 1933, but it has since moved to a newer and larger building. In fact, Casino di Campione is the largest casino in Europe and is one of the city's most famous landmarks.

Inside the Casino di Campione you'll find a wide array of games including roulette, chemin de fer, baccarat, black jack and slot machines, and a gorgeous poker room on the third floor. If you're hungry, Casino di Campione offers a great selection of restaurants to dine. Get a taste of Italy at The Seven Restaurant while enjoying a beautiful view for the seventh floor, or stuff yourself at the Jackpot Restaurant buffet on the second floor.

If you need a quick bite during a tournament break, hit one of the snack bars located on the second and third floors for a vast selection of hot and cold drinks, croissants, aperitifs, cakes and pastries, and more.

Out and About

Campione's location on Lake Lugano offers stunning views, so make sure you step out of the casino to do some exploring. In the city, you'll find the delectable eateries you'd find in any Italian town.

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We also suggest you take the short 15-minute jaunt over to Lugano to check out Parco Civico, which is said to be one of the greatest parks in Switzerland. With carefully kept landscape decorated by wildlife, it's the perfect place to soak up some sun and stretch your legs while taking a break from the poker tables.

Lugano also offers some fantastic restaurants, including a local favorite called Bottegone del Vino. With a menu that changes daily, you may find yourself going back for seconds after enjoying quality food and top of the line wine selections while enjoying a welcoming atmosphere.

Vitals

Language: Italian
Currency: Swiss Franc (Euro also widely accepted)
Weather: Mild, highs of around 70°F to be expected at the end of March.
Time: Central European Time zone.
Banks: Most are open 8am - 2pm, Monday through Saturday, and have an exchange counter if you're coming from out of the country. You'll also be able to find ATM machines throughout the city.
Visas: Europeans do not need a visa to visit Italy; North Americans and Australians can visit Italy without a visa for up to 90 days. Other citizens should consult their travel agent or nearest Italian embassy.

Brett Collson
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour