Euro banknotes and coins were circulated on the 1st of January 2002. Euro banknote denominations are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500. Coin denominations are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and 1 and 2 euro.
Their introduction had much to do with the work of economist Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, considered the founding father of the euro.
Various denominations have Italian names which relate to their amount:
- 2 euro > un doppio (a double)
- 5 euro > una cinquina (a fiver)
- 10 euro > un dieci (a tenner)
- 50 euro > un cinquantone (a fifty) or mezza piotta (half piotta)
- 100 euro > una piotta (Roman dialect for 100)
Prior to Italy becoming a member of the European Union and converting to the euro, the currency was the lira.
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. Until the Second World War, it was subdivided into 100 centesimi (singular: centesimo), which translates to "one hundredth".
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