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V14 2011 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 24, June 12, 2011, Article 17

THE NUMISMATOURIST VISITS ITALY

Howard Berlin submitted the following account of his latest numismatic excursion, this time to Italy. Thanks! -Editor

The Numismatourist strikes again. This time I just returned from a trip to Milan, Genoa, Bologna and San Marino. Interestingly there were numismatic venues in all of these places.

Entrance to Milan's Sforza Castle In Milan, one of the best known landmarks is the Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco), was built in its present form in the 16th century as part of the city wall and defense of Milan. It was also the residence of the Visconti and Sforza families that ruled Milan. Today it contains several museums along with a coin collection and a numismatic library. However, the coin collection (Gabinetto Numismatico del Comune di Milano - Numismatic Cabinet of the Municipality of Milan) is not open to the public, but can be viewed by appointment. You need to specify which area you are interested in (e.g., Hadrianus Imperial Coinage, or the mint of Milan). The Castle's Archeological Museum, located a few blocks from the Castle at Corso Magenta 15, has some Greek coins from the 2nd century A.D. that were found during excavations of the city.

In Genoa, besides the having #1 tourist trap that features the house where Christopher Columbus grew up, it has the Palazzo Doria Tursi Museum, aka Genoa's town hall. They have a nice collection of ancient, Genoa and Ligurian coins in two of the rooms on the 3rd floor.

In Bologna, just off the Piazza Maggiore, there is the Archeological Museum, whose coin collection numbers about 100,00 specimens. Sadly, right now, when I spoke to the museum's curator, funding has prevented the museum from adequately displaying parts of the collection. The museum, hopes in the near future to be able to properly display their collection.

I had to take a 1-hour train ride from Bologna to Rimini, a town on the Adriatic, and then catch a bus to San Marino for another 45 or so minute ride. There were several reasons for going there. (1) Because it's there and it's a new country for me (#51 I got the passport stamp to prove it and cost me 5 euro); (2) there were a few venues that have exhibits of coins that I wanted to see since I was "in the neighborhood;" (3) and I've been to 4 other micro European countries: Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Vatican City, and Monaco. The only ones left I haven't been to is Andorra and Malta.

San Marino is the world's oldest republic, founded in 301 AD and it's constitution, enacted in 1600, is also the world's oldest. For such a small country, entirely surrounded by Italy, it sits on Mt. Tintano up about 2,500 feet, and it has two numismatic museums! One is located in the State Museum. Some coins are mixed with archeological exhibits on the first floor but the main numismatic exhibits are located in a room in the first floor underground. The other is the Coin and Stamp Museum under the aegis of the Autonomous State Agency for Philately and Numismatics (AASFN).

Below are Howard's photos of a gallery in Genoa's Palazzo Doria Tursi Museum and the numismatic exhibit in San Marino's State Museum. -Editor

One of two galleries of Genoa's Palazzo Doria Tursi Museum the numismatic exhibit in San Marino's State Museum

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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