Silver coins were circulating in Italy (as in other countries like France, Switzerland, The Netherland, US), during the late 50s and the 60s
In Italy there was only one kind of silver coin with a facial value of 500 Liras: the Caravels that were minted from 1958 to 1967 (after that date it was minted only for collectors, not circulating).
In 1961 and 1965 there were also special issue to commemorate the one century anniversary of the Italian Unification and the 700th anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri, the most famous italian poet.
They were 11 grams coins with a silver content of 835/1000 (around 9 grams)
In the first years the coins were circulating and used to shop by people, but in a while they disappeared.
People were aware of the fact that the silver content of those coins had a value that became to be higher than the facial value of 500 Liras. So people (our parents and grandparents didn't spend that treasure.
Nowadays it is not uncommon to find some silver "Caravelle" abandoned or forgotten in a drawer, in the cellar or other particular places
where the grandparents stored them 50 years and more ago.
The present value of those coins is around 5 Euros (around 5.5 $) for their silver content as they have almost no collectible value
even if they are a remembrance of another time and of an other world.