Europe began emerging from the darkness and plagues of the middle ages in the 14th and 15th century. Since Italy was the first to emerge in exuberance and renaissance, foreigners became fascinated with the grandeur if Italy. Beautiful Northern Italy in particular inspired the genius of William Shakespeare. From the blossoming rebirth came one of the greatest love stories of all time, Romeo and Juliet, which reflected the very soul of the Italian Renaissance.
The province of Savoy, located on the border between France and Italy, held great strategic value from the middle ages through the late renaissance. The counts of Savoy could essentially control the traffic and trade over the Alps between the two regions. by carefully arranged marriages, the royal family of Savoy acquired connections to most of its most powerful neighbors, and often served as negotiators between the rival camps of the Medici’s and Popes.
The front of this coin features the ornate Cross of St. Maurice reflecting the ornamental embellishment so typical of the renaissance. The reverse of the coin depicts the crest of Savoy. The legend written on the coin translates: J, in the Lord (Emmanuel or Carlo), confide, and continues on the other side with “Emmanuel Filiberto Duke of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont. The Soldo is one of the earliest silver european coins to be dated in the christian era.