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Italy. Lombardy region. Campione d'Italia. Catholic church and its bell tower. The Holy Cross. Electric poles. Campione d'Italia is occupying an enclave within the Swiss canton of Ticino, separated from the rest of Italy. Campione d'Italia takes advantage of its status by operating a famous casino, the Casinò di Campione (on the left side), as gambling laws are less strict than in both Italy and Switzerland. The new Casinò di Campione was opened in 2007. It is the largest gambling place in Europe and replaces the existing 1936 casino. The project  was designed by famed Swiss architect Mario Botta. The external finish in gilded stone slabs arranged in alternating bush-hammered and smooth bands acts as a link between the modern 21th-century buildings of Campione d'Italia and the old town center. The complex consists of three large buildings, the main central block rising to ten storeys on the piazzale side. 1.03.2008  © 2008 Didier Ruef