What Was Old Italian Currency Called?


Quick Answer

The Italian lira was the primary currency used from 1861 through 2002, starting when King Vittorio Emanuele unified the Kingdom of Italy. In 2002, Italy switched to the euro.

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What Was Old Italian Currency Called?
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Full Answer

Prior to the lira, the Italian peninsula consisted of over a dozen city-states, and each small region coined its own legal tender. The lira was a continuation of the Sardinian lira, but Lombardy-Venetia used the pound. Sicily used the piastra, and Tuscany used the fiorino. Parma used a different form of the lira, and the Papal States had the scudo.

In 1865 under King Vittorio Emanuele, Italy joined the Latin Monetary Union to standardize the lira with other European money, stabilizing markets and easing trade. The Latin Monetary Union was also the first attempt at a unified European currency.

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