Last minute problems and w/out going into detail: Need to make local calls within Italy and calls from Italy to US (visiting no other countries). From what I am reading, it is "easy"? to buy a phone "almost anywhere"? (Siena is first stop). And then "easy" to buy a SIM card? Besides buying a phone and a SIM card, opinions on also buying an international phone card to use with the phone or to use in hotel rooms? This just came up and leaving tomorrow, so really could use some advise. Help !
In my experience phones are cheaper to buy in the US. However I got mine online. Not sure if you have the time, but inquire with a local phone store in Chicago if they have a cheap UNLOCKED GSM QUAD BAND phone. If you find it, go and buy it before you leave. Once in Italy, all you have to do is buy a SIM card at any provider store (Tim, Vodafone, Wind, 3). The store should be able to get you a Codice Fiscale online. Otherwise print one for yourself: http://www.comuni.it/servizi/codfisc/ Enter LAST NAME FIRST NAME INCL OF MIDDLE NAME IF APPLICABLE SEX STATI UNITI EE
DAY/MM/YYYY OF BIRTH
no time -- have to buy it in italy -- so that was the reason for my questions :)
Go to Italy. Go to a phone store. Buy a phone and have them set it up for you. Pay them money. Make phone calls. Don't stress over it, if you must have a phone then just go buy one. I would buy $10 worth of Skype credits before I left and make Skype calls back home from my hotel room and only use the cell for local calls.
I use this service for all my phone unlocks ~ http://swiftunlocks.com
Very easy to buy in Italy! I used TIM, but there are other phone companies as well. Go into the store, buy a cheap model (the one I bought was 30€ or so - very plain, not a smart phone, but worked well!), buy a SIM card for 10€ - and that usually includes 5€ of credit to make calls and send texts. I bought a more internationally-focused SIM card because I was staying for a while and using it to call home. I could call the US for 12 cents a minute after a ~30 cent charge per call. Very cheap! Note also that the phone is unlocked, so if you use it on a trip to another country later, you can just buy a SIM card there. I'm not sure exactly where the TIM stores are located in Siena, but they're definitely available. Above, one commenter noted how to get a codice fiscale. In my case, I did not need one to purchase the phone. If I wanted to add more credit to my phone online, I needed one - but instead I just visited the stores, handed them a 5€ bill and added it to my account.
The codice fiscale is requested to activate an Italian SIM card, not to purchase a phone. In most cases the store will calculate it for you using the same website given above or any similar website.
To my knowledge it is still required.
Now for unlock iPhones I use this one: http://www.smartunlocks.net/
prices really low
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