The lira is the historic Italian currency and was replaced by the euro in 2001. The ISO code is ITL, the official abbreviation is L or Lit. The plural is lire and the word lira is derived from the Latin word libra. The sub-unit of the lira is the centesimo, a lira is divided into 100 centesimi.
Exchange of Italian lira
The coins and banknotes of the Italian lira could be exchanged for euros at the central bank of Italy until December 6, 2011.
History of the Italian lira
The Italian kingdom was founded in 1865 and the lira was used as the official currency in Italy from then on. At the same time, other currencies that were valid up to this point were replaced. These included, for example, the ducats, the Giulio or the Grano. The lira was the official currency in San Marino and the Vatican and was always linked to the exchange rate of the Italian lira.
With the introduction of the lira, the north of the country benefited, while the south became even more impoverished by the monetary union. Far too late it was noticed that the currency conversion damaged the economically weak regions in the south and drove them into poverty and had to close numerous factories.
The Italian lire has coins and banknotes. However, the coins were a problem as there were always too few of them. The tourists in particular were very astonished that they received sweets instead of the return money.
In the Kingdom of Italy there were 1, 2, 5 and 10 centesimi in copper and 20 and 50 centesimi, 1, 2 and 5 lire in silver. After the First World War, new coins were issued and after the Second World War the centesimi values and the silver coins were withdrawn from circulation.
The 1000 lira banknote was the highest denomination in the Kingdom of Italy. In comparison, in 1997 the highest value was the 50,000 lira note.
The euro as book money was in Italy on 1.1. Introduced in 1999 and as cash on 1.1.2002. The official exchange rate is 1 € = 1936.27 L. In the past, many tourists were asked whether they should convert their money into lire in Germany or Italy. It was so that the exchange rate in Italy was cheaper and changing in the holiday country paid off.