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Will Lira Still Be Accepted After Italy Adopts the euro?

Will Lira Still Be Accepted After Italy Adopts the euro?

Old Aug 28th, 2001, 01:21 PM
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Will Lira Still Be Accepted After Italy Adopts the euro?

I am contacting hotels for a trip next May.
The hotels are responding with prices both in lira and Euro, as before, but are now telling me that Italy will be on the Euro system next year.
I inadvertently came home with a good amt of lira,
more than I wish to save for the children as momentos.

Anyone have info on this?
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 01:34 PM
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Italian lire will cease to be "legal tender" after February 28, 2002.

After that, exchange of your lire may be a bit difficult in Italy. The national bank will exchange lire for 10 years. Other banks >>may<< exchange lire to euros >>at their discretion<<.

Rather than counting on finding a bank to exchange your lire while you're there, Nancy, I'd tend to find the best deal I can in the US for the paper bills now, at least those large enough to matter.

For other travelers ... a fair warning ... the legacy currencies in the eurozone will cease to be legal tender by no later than February 28, earlier in some countries. Provisions for later exchange vary by country, but it will be increasingly difficuly to work an exchange after February.

Don't be stuck with wallpaper ... convert your leftover coins before you return from your last trip this year.

For those interested in the changeover process, see www.twenj.com/eurochangeover.thm

The official tables on changeover are at
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 01:38 PM
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Ditto the above.
Anyone taking home money that will not be returnig before these dates, are strongly suggested to spend it all before you leave or get it exchanged.
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 03:00 PM
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Ah, if it were only that easy. I normally spend all my money before I leave, usually putting whatever I have left on the hotel room. However, when we were rained out at the opera in Verona last summer, the hotel agreed to handle the refund on my tickets. They sent me over $600 US in lira -- in cash to my home in the US! That's well over a million lira. When I checked at our local bank, the exchange was so terrible I'm still holding on to them. So what do I do next summer? Would I be better off exchanging them in Germany (just before we go to Italy?) or wait until Italy -- although we will be driving into the lake district first, so I'm not sure about major banks to exchange them. Of course, I will have plenty of Euros from the other countries before I get to Italy -- but just what should I do with those Lira?
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 03:13 PM
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I can't speak for all the banks in Germany. I cannot imagine, however, that they would exchange lire for euros.

After February 28 it's going to be difficult, I think, for non-residents to exchange lire for euros in Italy while they're traveling about.

You can certainly hold on to them and try next summer, but I'd think there's a risk that you'll have difficulty changing them. You could end up with a very expensive wall covering by waiting.

I don't know where you live or if you travel on business or have colleagues or friends who do. Typically you can get a better exchange rate in a large, commercial bank in a major financial market city.
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 03:19 PM
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Here's one suggestion....

Exchange your lire for French Francs...
Since all of the currencies have been 'fixed' against the euro for almost two years, you won't lose anything on the exchange (other than paying the commission). When you're in France, you will be able to change your Francs for euros at any bank until July 1,2002 and at the Banque de France until 20012. You will be able to exchange coins until 2005.

Old Aug 28th, 2001, 03:42 PM
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Our International airport has a currency exchange booth. I have no idea what the rate is. It may be very bad and not really to your advantage. Just a suggestion.
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 04:22 PM
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thanks Ed!
Since I live in Vermont, that would be almopst as hard to do as changing in an Italian bank!
Hey any trustworthy souls out there, going to italy before Feb. 2002 who would like to purchase 150.000 lira (at the going rate in Italy?)
Meanwhile I will ask in my italian language class, I think someone is going over soon!
Ed, thanks again for the heads up!
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 04:37 PM
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You're welcome, Nancy.

PB, I'm confused. Which isn't new.

You say convert the lire to francs. When and where?

If you mean when he's in on his trip in May, the lire will not be convertible in France, I'm sure, to anything.

If you mean now in the US, he's going to pay a charge to a US bank (or other company) for converting anything. Doesn't matter what, there's a charge. I don't know know what the bank will call it, but warehousing and converting money has a real cost that a customer should expect to pay.

It's possible there will be a double cost. Typically, a conversion of "foreign" to "foreign" is done by first converting the first foreign funds to home currency, in this case dollars, and then home currency to the second foreign funds. It's >>possible<< the tie to the euro has eliminated one of these charges, though I doubt it.

I don't pretend to be an expert in this area, but I've done far more research than the average traveler. Before assuming anything, though, travelers with a heavy financial stake in this euro conversion should consult their bank or other financial advisor.

My advice remains, unless you live in the eurozone, convert eurozone legacy currency to your home currency before you return from your last trip prior to the end of this year. If you've already made your last trip, do it as soon as possible in the least expensive way, or give it to charity.

And don't plan on doing it in January or February of next year, unless you have a lot of time planned in your trip to stand on line in banks. 200 million+ folks in Europe will be changing to euros too!

If you'd like to know what charity would welcome legacy currency, it's UNICEF, the UN children's fund. See
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 05:18 PM
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what a great idea!
donating to UNICEF!
thanks for that idea.
I really could use the money, but I am always a sucker for a good cause!
and I rather donate it than spend precious time in Italy, standing in a bank line.
I'll see how easy it is to exchg privately first.
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 09:05 PM
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I took my left over lira(about $200) to Cooks curency exchange. The exchange rate was about 5% less that that published in the paper. I did not consider this "horrible" as I would expect them to get something for this service. If you look in your phone book, I'm sure you can find a currency exchange service. Then you can call them and find out what their rate is. I'm sure its better than holding cash with no interest that may be worthless soon. Even if you didn't have to worry about it being worthless, you'd make up that 5% in less than a year in a money market fund.
Old Aug 29th, 2001, 12:41 AM
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< <PB, I'm confused. Which isn't new.

You say convert the lire to francs. When and where? > >

I meant at a place like an AMEX office or Cook's (mentioned by Gerry)... or a bank in Europe. I realized after I posted that Nancy wouldn't be in Europe by the end of the year.

Old Aug 29th, 2001, 05:24 AM
Steve James
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Hello again Nancy,

If you can't find a classmate who can use it, I'll exchange it with you if you like, - I'll post you $ by return post. Drop me an e-mail as above if you're interested ...


Old Aug 29th, 2001, 06:04 AM
Beth Anderson
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Hey Nancy

There is always a chance I could be going to Rome for New Years. I won't know until closer to the date though. Should you still have the money, I would be glad to take it off your hands.

Then again, you should keep a bunch of each denomination back - someday, someday, that money will be worth more than the face value of it now. Your grandkids would be thrilled to have it, for instance... I am hoarding whatever money I happen to have,now...



countdown: 8 days and 7 hours before I board the plane!!
Old Aug 29th, 2001, 06:30 AM
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And the eurozone government treasuries are hoping lots of tourists will be stuck with their currency, or keep lots as "investments". They stand to gain hundreds of millions of dollars in profit, mainly from tourists and foreign business people.

There's tons of leftover European currency from before WW II, Old Francs, old issues ... none of it remotely worth anything near face value.

Use it, convert, donate it ... don't make a gift of it to European goverments ... they've gotten plenty of gifts from the US in the past, and repaid none of it, except with spite.
Old Aug 29th, 2001, 08:40 AM
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Another thought on this issue. NPR ran a story this morning about the efforts of counterfeiters to "upgrade" their business. Apparently they are engaging in all sorts of schemes to be ready for the changeover, including printing counterfeit paper Euros (and scamming people by exchanging for legit currency now-- don't fall for this!), as well as dumping counterfeit marks, lire, etc. in order to clear out their stock. Travelers should be very careful for the next several months, and know the rules and important dates.
Old Aug 29th, 2001, 10:25 AM
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thanks Steve,
I'll keep you in mind.
have fun on this trip!
Italy Envy;
Back to Florence to take more measurements?

I have kept bills for the children already (now, if I can only remember where I put them!).
the smaller ones, plus coins.
but what I have is a 50.000L and a 100.000 L, and that does add up to nice pocket change!

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