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Making Telephone Calls

We do not carry a cell phone. However, our landlord in Sorrento told us to call him from the station on arrival. Is it possible that Italy has pay phones or should we buy phone cards, cell phone for Italy? Thanks in advance, kc

Posted by
1201 posts

There are pay phones in Italy. Just like in the US though with the rise of cell phones there are fewer pay phones around, but at the train station you should find a pay phone without problems.

Have your landlord give you specific instructions for what to dial from the pay phone in the train station. Italian phone numbers can be a challenge for some people as in when to dial the city code etc. But overall fairly easy.

Posted by
15 posts

You should bring a cell phone. Buy a cheap unlocked tri-band cell phone online. When in Italy simply insert a Italy SIM card, and you'll be able to make local calls. And if you buy a phone card, you'll be bale to make international calls for fairly cheap. I paid 5 Euro for a phone card that had 40 minutes of talk time to the USA. A phone is always good for emergencies. Moreover, you get a local phone number where friends and family back home can always reach you.

Posted by
1294 posts

If that is the only call you really need to make, buy a phone card and use a pay phone. Keep in mind though, it is a good idea to call the places you have reservations a day to two in advance. (The only places I don't call in advance are larger hotels. Zimmers, B&B, small hotels and guesthouses appreciate a call if for no other reason than you can give them an idea of when you are arriving.) Our last trip we took a cell phone and I have mixed feelings about it. We have always used pay phones (and I still saw pay phones in public areas) The cell phone is one more thing to worry about.

Posted by
1317 posts

We had the same situation in Orvieto. Debated carrying cell phones, but that would have required buying/renting phone(s) since ours don't work internationally.

The small Orvieto train station had 4 pay phones, which were hard to locate, but the train station employee pointed them out to me. As I recall, they were bright orange, so I don't know why it was so hard. We did not have a phone card, but it would probably be a better way to go. We wasted one euro on a payphone that was broken, even though there was no indication that something was wrong with it. We then used another euro on a phone call that would have only cost about 35 cents, and learned the phones don't give change.

Finally, especially if no one in your party speaks any Italian, you might want to find someone to help you out. My dad could not figure out how to dial using the phone, until I managed to use my rudimentary Italian (and a bit of random button-pushing) to get the phone to provide instructions in English. Despite these misadventures, it wasn't too bad and overall, we chalked it up to the amusing flavor of Italy.

In short, the train station should have pay phones, get a small denomination phone card on arrival in Italy, and be prepared to deal with a stubborn/quirky phone.