Umberto Ranieri Carlo Emanuele Giovanni Maria Ferdinando Eugenio of Savoy was born in March 1844 in Turin, Italy. He was son of Victor Emmanuel II and Archduchess Adelaide of Austria. Receiving a high level of education throughout his youth, he entered the Sardinian army at the rank of Captain. During his military campaign, he fought in the Italian Wars of Independence and commanded several battles. Upon the death of his father in 1878, Umberto I assumed the throne, where he remained in power until his death by assassination in 1900 at the age of 56. Prior to Umberto I ascending the throne in 1878, Italian coinage was struck throughout the country in Genoa, Milan, Rome, and Turin. After 1878 all coins, including the Umberto I 20 Lire, were minted in Rome.
The obverse features the bust of King Umberto I facing left. On the left side of Umberto I around the coin features his name ‘UMBERTO I’. On the right side of the coin reads ‘RE D’ITALIA’. Below the bust of Umberto I is the year of mintage with the name of the engraver in the neck-cut.
The reverse features the Italian crowned coat of arms encircled by a wreath made by a branch of laurel and one of oak. Up the crowned shield is the Star of Italy. On the left side is the letter ‘L’ for Lire. On the right side is the coin’s denomination “20”.