The original core section dedicated to the history of coins makes the Bottacin Museum one of the most prestigious numismatics collections in Europe, both for its completeness and its range. Over the years it has become an important study centre known throughout the world, and can draw upon one of the most important numismatics libraries in Europe.
There are more than twenty thousand items in the numismatic collection, starting from pre-Roman coins and those minted during the time of the Republic and the Empire. The pieces on display also illustrate the work of the City Mint durign the time of the Carraresi; the seals and medals struck in Padua; and the work of Giovanni da Cavino, a famous maker of medals who worked in the city in the sixteenth century. One piece that stands out is a gold ducat minted for Francesco I da Carrara, the only one in a public collection in Italy. Then come the sections dedicated to Greek and Roman coins which are linked with Byzantine, Ostrogoth, Longobard and Arab coins. Amongst the most interesting pieces here one should mention the Veneti coins from pre-Roman Venetia; rare medallions depicting the Roman emperors Hadrian, Septimus Severus and Maxentius; a tremissis from the time of the Longobard Astolphus; and the richest and most complete series of Venetian coins anywhere in the world.
The collection then continues with works that illustrate how the reforms made by Charlemagne were reflected in coins minted in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance; from pieces modelled on the silver thaler and the gold scudo, one then passes on to the paper money printed in the eighteenth century. Thereafter come coins that reflect the introduction of the decimal system under Napoleon and the history of the Italian lira, right up to the modern-day Euro.