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Playing Cards from Italy

Italian Playing Cards

The first reliable evidence that playing cards were being used in Italy is from 1376, when a game called 'naibbe' is forbidden in a decree, with the implication that the game had only recently been introduced there.

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Lo Cartescacco / Chess playing cards 1981

Lo Cartescacco / Chess playing cards

Playing cards designed by F. Romagnoli bringing together Chess and Bridge, Italy, c. 1981.

Lo Stampatore 1977

Lo Stampatore

‘Lo Stampatore’ linocut images created by Sergio Favret, published as a deck of cards by Editions Solleone / Vito Arienti in 1977.

Lo Zodiaco 1979

Lo Zodiaco

French-suited fortune-telling pack with distinctive designs by Italian artist Sergio Ruffolo.

Lombardy (or Milanesi) pattern

Lombardy (or Milanesi) pattern

The origins of the Lombardy pattern probably lie in the early 19th century when it was a full-length design. It has some affinities with the French Provence and Lyons patterns which are now obsolete.

Love is a smoke 2015

Love is a smoke

‘Love is a smoke’ (Classic edition) fantasy playing cards produced by Passione, Italy, 2015.

Marcello Morandini 1973

Marcello Morandini

Modern designs by Italian artist Marcello Morandini using the simplest of forms and colours.

Martin Mystère 2005

Martin Mystère

Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.

Marvel Poker 1995

Marvel Poker

Marvel comic book characters on a pack from Italy with designs by Marco Nizzoli.



Memento, a unique Playing Card Deck designed by Valerio Aversa and Antonios Fiala, inspired by the history of playing card design.

Mercante in Fiera di Jacovitti 1975

Mercante in Fiera di Jacovitti

Traditional Italian card game with comic designs by Benito Jacovitti.

Minchiate Fiorentine 1980

Minchiate Fiorentine

Minchiate Fiorentine created by Costante Costantini, published by Edizioni del Solleone.

Minchiate Fiorentine

Minchiate Fiorentine

The Florentine game of Minchiate is played with a pack of 97 cards. The subjects and arrangements of the trumps are slightly varied and their number increased to 41 by the addition of the three theological virtues, one of the cardinal virtues (Prudence), the 4 elements and the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Minchiate Fiorentine, 17th C.

Minchiate Fiorentine, 17th C.

17th century Minchiate cards reprinted from the original woodblocks.

Mitelli ‘Gioco di Passatempo’ 1690

Mitelli ‘Gioco di Passatempo’

Il Gioco di Passatempo contains 40 figurative playing cards depicting moral virtues and vices, dated 1690.

Mitelli Tarocchini 1664

Mitelli Tarocchini

The title refers to “a new form of Tarocchini”. Mitelli's designs are to a high standard of artistic quality and a complete departure from the old tradition, especially the 22 Trump cards which are unnamed and unnumbered.

Modet Sardegna 2005

Modet Sardegna

Costumes, masks and symbols from the island of Sardinia, with designs by Luciano Dettori and Tonino Caputo.

Modiano Patience 1945

Modiano Patience

Patience cards published by Modiano, c.1945.

Musikalisches Kartenspiel 2004

Musikalisches Kartenspiel

Facsimile of Dondorf’s “Musikalisches Kartenspiel” (c.1862) published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004

Myriorama 1824


Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.

Napoleone playing cards 1971

Napoleone playing cards

Long, narrow cards designed by Osvaldo Menegazzi, featuring Napoleon, Josephine and various soldiers.