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|Lira Italiana (Italian)|
Subunits were abolished after WWII
|Symbol||₤ or L|
|Banknotes||₤1,000, ₤2,000, ₤5,000, ₤10,000, ₤50,000, ₤100,000, ₤500,000|
|Freq. used||₤50, ₤100, ₤200, ₤500, ₤1000|
|Rarely used||₤1, ₤2, ₤5, ₤10, ₤20|
None, previously:Kingdom of Italy
but not Campione d'Italia
Albanian Kingdom (1939–43)
|Central bank||Banca d'Italia|
|Printer||Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato|
|Mint||Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato|
|Since||13 March 1979, 25 November 1996|
|Withdrawn||17 September 1992|
|Fixed rate since||31 December 1998|
|Replaced by €, non cash||1 January 1999|
|Replaced by €, cash||1 January 2002|
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
The lira (Italian: [ˈliːra]; plural lire [ˈliːre]) was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002 and of the Albanian Kingdom between 1941 and 1943. Between 1999 and 2002, the Italian lira was officially a national subunit of the euro. However, cash payments could be made in lira only, as euro coins or notes were not yet available. The lira was also the currency of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy between 1807 and 1814.
The term originates from the value of a pound weight (Latin: libra) of high purity silver and as such is a direct cognate of the British pound sterling; in some countries, such as Cyprus and Malta, the words lira and pound were used as equivalents, before the euro was adopted in 2008 in the two countries. "L", sometimes in a double-crossed script form ("₤"), was the symbol most often used. Until the Second World War, it was subdivided into 100 centesimi (singular: centesimo), which translates to "hundredths" or "cents".
The lira was established at 4.5 grams of silver or 290.322 milligrams of gold. This was a direct continuation of the Sardinian lira. Other currencies replaced by the Italian lira included the Lombardy-Venetia pound, the Two Sicilies piastra, the Tuscan fiorino, the Papal States scudo and the Parman lira. In 1865, Italy formed part of the Latin Monetary Union in which the lira was set as equal to, among others, the French, Belgian and Swiss francs: in fact, in various Gallo-Italic dialects in north-western Italy, the lira was outright called "franc". This practice has obviously ended with the introduction of the euro in 2002.
|Banknotes of the Italian lira (1990–1997 issues)|
|Image||Value||Equivalent in euros (€)||Main color||Obverse||Reverse||Watermark|
|1000 lire||€0.516||Red-violet||Maria Montessori||Montessori education||Maria Montessori|
|2000 lire||€1.03||Dark brown||Guglielmo Marconi||Marconi's yacht "Elettra"; Radio towers at Marconi's station Glace Bay in Nova Scotia; telegraph||Guglielmo Marconi|
|5000 lire||€2.58||Olive-green and blue||Vincenzo Bellini; interior of "Teatro Massimo – Bellini" (Catania)||Scene from Bellini's opera "Norma"; Allegory of "Lyrics"||Vincenzo Bellini|
|10,000 lire||€5.16||Dark blue||Alessandro Volta; Electrophor ("Volta Column", galvanic battery)||Museum "Tempio Voltiano" in Como||Alessandro Volta|
|50,000 lire||€25.82||Red-violet or Violet and dull green||Gian Lorenzo Bernini||Equestrian statue (by Bernini), interior of St. Peter's Basilica (Vatican City)||Gian Lorenzo Bernini|
|100,000 lire||€51.65||Dark brown, reddish brown and pale green||Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), couple from Caravaggio's painting "The Fortune Teller"||Fruit basket and castle in the background||Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi)|
|500,000 lire||€258.23||Deep purple, dark blue and bright green||Raffaello; Triumph of Galatea||The School of Athens||Raphael|
Two Sicilies ducat
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