In light of the ongoing pandemic, which means that in-person guided visits to the Money Museum are still suspended, the Bank of Italy has launched several projects to enable the public to visit the Museum virtually and enjoy its numismatic treasures.
In particular, it has prepared a video tour of the Museum and its five rooms.
While exploring this section, visitors can also learn more about the items on display: 400 images, with descriptions in Italian and in English, walking them through the history of money.
The Bank of Italy's Money Museum provides a broad view of the role played by money in different periods in history, spanning a period of 5,000 years. The Museum not only covers the evolution of means of payment in Italy, in terms of both coins and banknotes, but it also dedicates significant space to the origins of money in Mesopotamia and Greece and its development in Ancient Rome.
In celebration of its centenary, in 1993 the Bank of Italy opened the Money Museum. The exhibition was designed by Ms Balbi De Caro, Director of Numismatics at the National Museum of Rome.
The core of the Bank's coin collection traces back to its formation through the merger of three banks (Banca Nazionale nel Regno, Banca Nazionale Toscana and Banca Toscana di Credito). In 1938 the Bank of Italy acquired a collection of coins, books and other documents from the head cashier of Banco di Sicilia's Rome branch, Pietro Oddo, who sold his private collection before becoming the numismatic secretary to King Victor Emmanuel III.
The Bank of Italy's subsequently expanded its holdings through the acquisition of collections of banknotes - 'Cocconcelli' (1951) and 'Spinelli' (1989) -, Greek and Roman coins (1999-2003) and Mesopotamian clay tablets (2000 and 2002).
The Money Museum is currently housed in 5 rooms:
- Room 1: Mesopotamian clay tablets (44 tablets). A selection of tablets from the most important collection in Italy of financial documents written in cuneiform is on display in this room. It covers the period from the 3rd to the 2nd millennium BC.
- Room 2: Minted coins (100 coins). The collection traces the spread of minted coins across Greece and through the major cities of the Mediterranean, all the way to Rome.
- Room 3: The Oddo collection (480 coins). This room contains valuable specimens issued by mints in Southern Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire to modern times.
- Room 4: Modern gold coins (231 coins). These coins recall the various monetary policies followed during a period characterized by the search for a Europe-wide approach.
- Room 5: Banknotes (314 banknotes on display). Some of the specimens are one-of-a-kind. The banknotes in this collection trace Italy's history from the very first issue by the Royal Finance Department of Turin up to the last series of lira notes printed by the Bank of Italy before the introduction of the euro.
The sections on each of the rooms only describe the items currently on display in the museum with an accompanying a photogallery of the most important pieces. The Mesopotamian tablets display was designed by Prof. F. Pomponio, while the coins exhibition was designed by Ms Balbi De Caro.
Access to the Money Museum
School parties of no more than 50 can visit the Museum free of charge from Monday to Friday, preferably at 9.30, except for the last Friday of the month. Visits should be booked at least 20 days before the chosen date by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The email must indicate the school's contact person.
The same email can also be used to request a tour of Palazzo Koch's art treasures.
The Bank of Italy will reply promptly by e-mail. The school should send a list of participants by email at least one week before the visit.
The Museum can be booked for a free visit by private individuals on the last Saturday of the month (except for May and August) from 9.00 to 12.00.
During the visits, Bank of Italy staff members show visitors around the Museum's collections of coins and banknotes.
Please contact us as follows:
For school party visits please contact the Currency circulation management Directorate
Tel. 06 47923318 - 06 47923205 - 06 47924878 - 06 47928614 - 06 47922902
For private Saturday bookings please go to the following link