Livigno is not only a town in it’s own right, but is also a commune – a collection of other local villages. Livigno is one of the few “duty-free” areas of mainland Europe. Tax advantages in the area date back to the sixteenth century but in more recent times, the duty-free status was confirmed by the EEC in 1960. The duty-free status was awarded because the area posed hardships in living, due to the winter weather and also the difficulty in accessing the town. There are three roads to and from Livigno. The Passo di Foscagno connects Livigno with Italy. The Munt la Schera tunnel runs towards Switzerland Finally,the Passo di Forcola, runs towards Switzerland and the Bernina Pass. The latter is snow closed in the winter. The expected date to reopen this route in 2016 is mid June!
In addition to being a winter ski resort, Livigno offers all year round tourism opportunities, with walking and cycling being popular.
Shoppers will not be disappointed, with cigarettes, alcohol, diesel and electrical items such as cameras, watches and mobile ‘phones being available VAT free. VAT at present in Italy is 22%. Note however, that strict rules apply to the quantities and value of goods purchased. Upon leaving Livigno, we were checked at the “border”.
Example prices in Livigno in May 2016 were:
- Diesel – 72 cents per litre – this compared to 1.25 euro per litre in Italy and 87 cents per litre in Luxembourg
- Smirnoff Vodka blue – seven euro per litre
- Bells whisky – seven euro per litre
- Cigarettes – about 30 euro per 200, but not all international brands were available.
The cost of reaching Livigno via the Tunnel Munt la Schera was 23 euro one way in a motorhome. Round trip tickets for cars are available. In the summer of course, it would be possible to arrive in Livigno via the Bernina Pass and the Forcola.
More information about the town, weather and the passes is available here.