Before Italy used the Euro, there was the Lira. Many didn't like the Lira because it was nearly worthless anyway. In fact,by the time the Lira was replaced, a 2000 Lire bill was only worth about one U.S. Dollar-- 20 Lira about one penny. Buying a nice dinner could cost tens of thousands... a car would be millions!
But still, in 2014 Claudia Moretti thought she struck it rich. She discovered 100 million Lire in a safe hidden at her late Uncle's home on the Adriatic coast after having inherited it. With her father, she went to the house to start cleaning before starting renovations. After opening an old a cabinet which contained among other things an old gramophone, they came across a locked metal box. After breaking it open she found the surprise... one hundred million lire in cash.
The bigger surprise came when she went to the bank and they told her it was worthless. Italy has been using the Euro for more than a decade and there was a 10 year limit on changing Lira to Euros... the limit had run out. She hired lawyers to fight the decision but lost her battle and lost her Uncles fortune. The lawyers surely won, however.
Even if she could have cashed in on the stash of Lira, it would have only been worth around $65,000, hardly a fortune. But, she still had her Uncle's house. But wait, in Italy, usually property is shared by many family members... sisters, uncles, cousins... and there might be various rights on the deed that limit the use of the property. She might have an uncle that owns the rights to harvest the olive trees. There might be a cousin with the rights to the almonds... and another who has the right to spend summers in the house. "Owning" a property in Italy is not that simple... especially one that is inherited.
Too bad she couldn't cash in all that Lire... Now, how does she stop Cousin Alfredo from digging up all "her" truffles? And Uncle Luigi expects to refurbish the grape vines--his "right" as per the deed.
Oh well, at least she took home that old gramophone...
If you enjoyed this post, please share it. Grazie.