I’ve highlighted the NY Times’ Opinionator blog before. Back then, Franc Jacobs wrote a piece about the delimitation of the rather fuzzy geographic entity called “Europe”.
Today, there’s a new blog post about Enclave Hunting in Switzerland. After the mandatory clichées (the relevance of the “National Yodeling Festival” can probably be gleaned from the fact that it takes place only “once every three years”… – as opposed to, say, the Montreux Jazz Festival), the piece gets more interesting when it explores the many national (intercantonal) and in fact two international enclaves of Switzerland. The curious topology of the two Appenzells and Sankt Gallen are dealt with as well as the enclaves of e.g. Fribourg and Geneva.
On the international level Campione is interesting. It is separated from Italy by only 1 mile as the crow flies, however connected to mainland Italy by a 9 mile long mountain road.
In its history Campione, was first proposed for absorption by Switzerland (and said “No” to that), only to later suggest itself that it should be joined to Switzerland (to which then the latter said “Nein/No/Non” for neutrality reasons).
Nevertheless, (economic) bounds between Campione and Switzerland became ever stronger. So much so, that Mussolini felt compelled to rename it “Campione d’Italia”, in order to emphasise the connection of the place to Roma et al.
The German enclave/exclave Büsingen has also some fun stuff and interesting history to offer. For example, there are police officer quotas in place: no more than 10 Swiss police officers and no more than 3 German police officers per 100 inhabitants in Büsingen at any given time!
For more fun facts and tidbits head there.
However, the author forgot to mention the biggest enclave of Switzerland: the country itself, considered against, for example, EU or EEA or Euroland, not Schengen.