A small town in Italy is printing its own money called Ducati. The town, Castellino del Biferno, in the Molise region of south Italy has begun printing its own money to serve as vouchers for food and services during the pandemic.
It was all the idea of their mayor, Enrico Fratangelo, who has been studying the concept for over a decade.
The town received €5,500 from the local government to issue food vouchers to vulnerable families during the pandemic. Rather than print food vouchers, the mayor opted to print the town’s own money, called Ducati.
The Ducati are distributed to the residents in accordance with their economic needs. Each Ducati is worth exactly €1. These can be spent only at local shops. The shops then return the Ducati to the town council and get the corresponding amount reimbursed in Euros.
The mayor conceived of this idea to strengthen the town's economy, sense of unity, and solidarity. It encourages spending locally. In addition, the banknotes even have local symbols like the town church, the public swimming pool, or the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Unlike what most may think, the currency is actually named after an old currency, called the Ducat, not the motorcycle brand, Ducati. The Ducat (Ducati, plural), is from the Medieval Latin word, ducalis, which means "duke's coin." It was first used by King Roger II of Sicily, who ruled from 1130 to 1134. It was a gold or silver coin used for trade in Europe from the later Middle Ages until as late as the 20th century.
The Ducati banknotes are printed locally and have been distributed to over 200 families in town. The town claims almost 4,000 Ducati have already been spent.