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Italy (Italia) is a state located in southern Europe on the Apennine Peninsula. In the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. Inside Italy there are two city states: The Vatican (3.2 km) and San Marino (39 km). It also includes the exclave of Campione d’Italia, completely surrounded by Swiss territory. Two large islands in the Mediterranean also make up part of Italy: Sardinia and Sicily. Italy is a member of the UN, NATO, the Council of Europe, the EU, the Schengen Area and the Eurozone. Rome has been the capital since 1870. Unified Italy was formed in 1861 as a kingdom by the union of many smaller states. In the First World War, it was first a member of the Triple Alliance, but joined the Triple Entente later on. After the war, fascists, led by Benito Mussolini, seized power in Italy. During World War II it was on the side of Hitler’s Germany, which eventually led to Italy’s defeat. The kingdom was replaced by the republic in 1946. Italy is a founding member of the EU and NATO. Italy is a highly developed industrial–agricultural state, the most developed in southern Europe. Inside the country itself there is a big difference between the industrial north and the agricultural south, which also causes separatist tendencies in the north, especially in Lombardy (Milan). Exports predominate. The currency is the euro, which replaced the lira in 2002.


The Ministry of Economy and Finance (Ministero dell´Economia e delle Finanze, known as the MEF) is a department of the Italian government. The MEF is located in the historic Palazzo delle Finanze. The MEF is the executive body responsible for the economy, financial budgets, credible investment planning, co-ordination of public spending, revenue policy and the tax system. It manages public land, cadastre and customs; plans, coordinates and controls activities to strengthen economic and regional development and its sectors; and is responsible for establishing a cohesion policy. The ministry has the role of overseeing entities and activities related to the supervision and regulation of the authorities. It also issues a certain number of Italian commemorative coins every year, which are minted at the IPZS.


Italian coins emitted by the Ministry of Finance of Italy are struck in the Italian Mint or IPZS.

The IPZS is a constantly evolving, unique, comprehensive industrial company with multi-faceted technology that combines tradition with innovation, ability with expertise, the past with the present, and the future of people in everyday life. The IPZS was founded in 1978; in 2002 it became a joint stock company (with the Ministry of Finance as a sole shareholder). Currently, it has 1,662 employees, 4 production plans and 8 major commercial departments, as given below:

  • IT platform and on-line products
  • Philately and printing
  • Official printed matter
  • ID cards and certification
  • Tracking counterfeits
  • Traditional printing
  • Italian mint
  • Dematerialisation of documents

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