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Border Crossing between Italy and Switzerland

Recently we have read about the migrants who are waiting in the Lake Como area of Italy for limited crossing opportunities into Switzerland. We will be vacationing in the Lake Como Italy region in September and plan to take the train to Switzerland. Will we have any issues in crossing the border or is there anything we need to be aware of? Thank you.

Posted by
33003 posts

A friend of mine is making that crossing today and several more times in the next couple of weeks (he is a Swiss national whose mother lives in Lugano) and he is not expecting any issues.

Where are you reading about these problems, Patty Jo?

Posted by
619 posts

It's best not to take any notice of what is in the Daily Mail. It has an anti-immigrant and anti-E.U. bias, and for some reason takes against certain stars like George Clooney.

Posted by
1548 posts

I made the crossing twice a few weeks ago, by car at Ponte Chiasso (not at the highway crossing) that should be the most affected place, and I did notice anything. My personal two cents: Italy is used to migrants arriving, but central Europe countries like Austria, Germany and a lesser extent Switzerland are not, and panicked for arrival levels that Italy would not consider surprising.

Posted by
33003 posts

So in that sensationalistic article, did you see one single migrant in all those photos of celebrities and tourists? What proof is there that rubbish with car doors, bicycles and all sorts of large items had anything to do with migrants?

The story is a nonsense.

Posted by
32228 posts

pattyjo,

I don't have the same knowledge as the U.K. members of the forum about the accuracy of news reported by the Daily Mail, but there may be a shred of truth in it. Based on the content, it would seem that the migrants are mostly concetrated in the town of Como, so if you're holidaying elsewhere on the lake you may not even see them.

As far as crossing the border, I doubt that you'll have any difficulties. The local staff and police are fairly adept at being able to discern which people are tourists and which are "questionable". I've noticed that on a number of occasions when travelling by train, including last September on the trip from Italy to Austria. Police walked through the coaches several times, and they didn't look twice at me. However, there were people who were singled out for more robust scrutiny.

Have a nice holiday!

Posted by
1693 posts

I am currently house sitting in the Lugano area and have made the border crossing several times, both by car and once by train. On the train, customs agents did come through the train when we stopped at the border. They just walked through. However, there was a group of several young black people that were escorted off the train ( from another car). An English speaking man on the train told me Switzerland is not allowing any migrants across the border. I have not read this anywhere, it was just the word of one man.
When crossing the border by car, there is a man looking at who is in the cars, then just nodding (to me and the people in front of me). I have not been stopped or asked for anything and I've not observed this happening to anyone else.
I spent the day in Como on Tuesday. Driving into and out of town, and spending time in the town, I observed nothing but other tourists or locals. All seemed very much like any other touristy area.

Posted by
3 posts

I've made the travel several times the last year and never experienced any troubles. However I once saw a group of young people being escorted off the train by the "border police". Also I found this article upon the topic: http://europe.newsweek.com/switzerland-threatens-closing-italian-border-migrants-329099 .

As long as your passport states where you are from and you have some sort of documentation of why you wish to enter the country, you should be fine? Other than that I don't think you'll have any sort of troubles what so ever?

Posted by
32228 posts

"When crossing the border by car, there is a man looking at who is in the cars, then just nodding (to me and the people in front of me)."

That corresponds with my experience as mentioned earlier. The authorities are able to to tell very quickly which travellers need further scrutiny, and which can be allowed to pass without checks.

I experienced the same thing on a drive from Yuma to Palm Springs a couple of years ago. There was a traffic check on the freeway with signs that stated "All Vehicles Must Stop". As I pulled in to the check-point, the CBP officer looked through the windshield and then motioned me to carry-on. I don't think the wheels on my car even stopped turning. If I had fit whatever profile they were looking for, I'm sure the situation would have been much different.

Posted by
33003 posts

That slowdown and check has been in place between Italy and Switzerland, Austria and Switzerland and Germany and Switzerland as long as I can remember crossing those borders and that's been a long time.

Posted by
18290 posts

That corresponds with my experience as mentioned earlier. The
authorities are able to to tell very quickly which travellers need
further scrutiny, and which can be allowed to pass without checks

What do you suppose the "markers" are that get you "special attention"? I have family members who's appearance could pass for middle eastern.