Our Pizzas Won’t Cost You a Barrow Load of Money

LiraVisit Italy, home of the pizza, today and you will pay for your meal in euros, as in most other major European countries. Here in the UK of course we still trade in pounds sterling.

But before the euro was introduced the price of a pizza was not merely a matter of single figures. For in Italy the unit of currency was the lira, which sadly was the butt of jokes elsewhere on the continent due to its high denominations.

Like the deutschmark, now also a detail of history, the lira in its most recent format was a relatively new currency, dating back only to 1861 after the country had been unified.

Not every Briton will know that the word "lira" descends from the Latin "libra" which means "pound". The kinship between the two currencies explains why the UK’s pound symbol bears some resemblance to the letter "L" that once denoted the lira.

But if the symbols are similar there was clearly little to relate the two denominations. Whilst a UK pound is worth a little more than a euro, there would today be a whole 1936 lire in a euro. Or to put it another way, there are approximately 0.005 euros in a lira.

And so it would be perfectly in order to expect to pay 20,000 lire or even more for a pizza, which would have been an awful lot if paid for in single coins. One envisions the wheelbarrow loads of money carried around by people in Germany during the inter-war period during times of hyper-inflation.

But in actual fact the Italian currency was not especially a victim of inflation. Merely of too many numbers. At the time of its passing most Italian adults were lira millionaires.

The Eco Restaurant is a notably classy Italian restaurant in Clapham, serving notably classy Italian and other food. But when it comes to setting our seriously competitive prices we like to keep it simple, which is why our healthy, nutritious pizzas, refreshing drinks and mouth watering desserts are all priced in UK pounds.

No commas and very few zeros, just succulent food which is the common currency of all the best restaurants wherever you may happen to be in the world.

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