To mark the first Italian lira coins introduced into use 550 years ago, a symbolic and historic ceremony recreating its minting will be held at 3:pm on Wednesday 19th October. Hosted at the Marciana National Library – Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Sale Monumentali, Piazza San Marco 13, Venice, a historical palace created by architect Jacopo Sansovino and which was once the former headquarters of the ancient Serenissima Mint. This very place was where the Tron Lira was first minted in 1472 – and will be minted again.
As part of this extraordinary anniversary and recreation of the striking of the Tron Lira, premier representatives of Venice and Veneto Region’s representatives of culture, art, the economy and social VIP’s will be in attendance to witness this unique event.
The Tron Lira
The Tron Lira, authorised and named after Niccolò Tron, the 68th Doge of Venice, reigning from 1471 to 1473 was a silver coin equal to twenty soldi and depicted the Doge in a draped bust left wearing corno ducale with leaves of ivy below his likeness on the obverse. On the reverse is the image of the winged lion of St Mark, ancient symbol of the city of Venice and holding the book of the Gospel. Brought in as a special feature to further entertain spectators and guests is an antique coin press which will be used to actually strike the replica pieces. The press’ mechanism is similar in its function to those used to mint these historical and fascinating coins which have a very special place in Italian history.
Five Replica Coins Will Go to…
The event is also proud to host and welcome International singer soprano Katia Ricciarelli who will be presented with the ‘Lira d’Oro’ award as well as a special historical Tron Lira coin re-minted for this occasion. During the proceedings, the press will mint an additional 5 silver coins, one each will be presented to 1) the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, 2) the Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro, 3) the Marciana Library itself for hosting the event, 4) for Katia Ricciarelli in recognition of her outstanding career. Finally, the fifth and last coin will be awarded to a prominent person in Venetian society.
20 Years Celebrations of the Lira and the Euro
Conference speakers will also take the opportunity to trace the time-span from the historical birth of the Tron Lira right up to the new forms of digital currencies, while representatives from local schools will display projects carried out about the Lira and Euro, on the twentieth anniversary of the introduction of the single European currency.
The event encompasses 20 years of celebrations of the Lira and the Euro which began in 2002 with Italian actor Alberto Sordi and the following year with Sophia Loren who also made a special appearance. In 2012 the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Euro and farewell to the Lira was organized at the Capitolium Hill in Rome. The last anniversary celebration was held on February 28th 2022 in Rome, at the famed Trevi Fountain, hosted by the Project Coordinator and journalist Sandro Sassoli along with TV conductor Maria Venier. The presentation in Rome was supported by a senior patronage of the European Parliament.
For additional information, please visit the website Indimenticabile Lira.
We give a short overview on the history of the lira in our article series “From Lira to Euro: Italy’s History in Coins. Part 2: The Italian Unification”.
To learn more in detail how Nicolò Tron’s portrait came onto Venice’s coins, read “Human Faces Part 29: The Doge, powerless ruler over a mighty empire”.