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Italian lira

Lira Italiana (Italian)
Italian lira banknotes.JPG Italia 1000 lire.JPG
Lira banknotes ranging from ₤2,000 to ₤500,000. ₤1000 coin (1997)
ISO 4217
Code ITL
1100 centesimo
Subunits were abolished after WWII
Plural lire
centesimo centesimi
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
 San Marino
  Vatican City
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
Inflation 2.3% (2001)
 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 Withdrawn 17 September 1992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
= ₤1,936.27
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

None, previously:

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
Lire 1000 (Maria Montessori).jpg 1000 lire €0.516 Red-violet Maria Montessori Montessori education Maria Montessori
Lire 2000 (Guglielmo Marconi).JPG 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
Lire 5000 (Vincenzo Bellini).JPG 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
Lire 10000 (Alessandro Volta).JPG 10,000 lire €5.16 Dark blue Alessandro Volta; Electrophor ("Volta Column", galvanic battery) Museum "Tempio Voltiano" in Como Alessandro Volta
Lire 50000 (Bernini).JPG 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
Lire 100000 (Caravaggio).JPG 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)
Lire 500000 (Raffaello Sanzio).JPG 500,000 lire €258.23 Deep purple, dark blue and bright green Raffaello; Triumph of Galatea The School of Athens Raphael
Preceded by
Sardinian lira
Lombardy-Venetia pound
Parman lira
Tuscan florin
Roman scudo
Two Sicilies ducat
Italian currency
Succeeded by

  • 10 lire (only for collectors)
  • 20 lire (only for collectors)
  • 50 lire (2.58 cents)
  • 100 lire (5.16 cents)
  • 200 lire (10.33 cents)
  • 500 lire (25.82 cents)
  • 1,000 lire (51.65 cents)


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