*** Need help with Making Local Phone Calls in Italy! ***


We are flying to Italy in less than 24hours.

I need to know where I can get a local Italian phone card with a phone or even use my own cell phone.

We have our Indian and US Mobile phones that have roaming on them-however, the roaming rates and too high and I am sure we will need to make lot of local calls for hotels/restaurants/tours/directions etc...

Are there any pre-paid cards we can buy with reasonable rates online or when we get to Rome that we can use in our cell phones?

Any other suggestions are most definitely welcome!

Thanks a lot!

Posted by Thomas
Indianapolis, IN, USA
143 posts

Buy phone card for 5 euros at any tobacco shop when you get to Italy, and use it from your hotel phone or pay phones to make local calls in Italy. You can also buy international cards for the same price, they are cheap, easy to use, and sold all over.

Posted by Marylee
Oregon City,, OR
31 posts

I was wonder that also, if you are better off buying a european sim card for your own phone, or can you buy like the "go phones" that we have, that are fairly inexpensive here. I know about buying the phone cards but I was thinking if you were away from your hotel room, are "pay phones" readily available?

Posted by Pal
Santa Monica
15 posts

Thanks a lot for your prompt responses!

I have a cell phone that I can use with my India/US SIM card and I think I can use it for Italy as well. I would prefer buying a local Italy SIM card even if I have to buy a cheap Italy cell phone with it.

Any ideas where I can do this in Rome or online? I am leaving in 12hours and so would prefer to know where I can buy this in Rome itself.

Thanks a lot,

Posted by SamSn
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
1127 posts

Stores selling mobile phones sell SIM cards. You will need to show your passport for the SIM registration. Mobile phone stores are all over the place in Italy. I've seen SIM cards for as low as 10-15 euro. I would recommend purchasing a SIM from Vodaphone or TIM, the two main providers. You can add more credit to the SIM by purchasing recharge cards at tobacco stores.

Posted by Ron
Ron-in-Rome................................ Now, RPT in Vienna, Austria!
1764 posts

TIM, Wind, and Vodaphone are the big 3 in Italy. We have 3 phones, all with TIM SIM cards. We pay about 12 Euro cents a minute to call other TIM clients in Italy and 15 cents to call other numbers anywhere in-country. To call the US, it costs us about 60 euro cents a minute. (We never use cell phones to call the US unless it's an emergency. At home we have SKYPE and also VONAGE for US access).

Once you have your SIM card you can get a "refill" at tabachi shops, supermarkets, TIM stores, in the mall, at some cafes, and lots of other places! For TIM, we have the 10,30, and 50 Euro recharge cards... On TIM, Dial 4916 (change your "instructions" to English - or get someone to do it for you) and you will always know you remaining balance! You must use your SIM carded phone once every 6 months for the number to remain active, else you have to go to a TIM center for reactivation - Most numbers are good up to one year if no activity... after that you lose the number.


Posted by Natalie
Thunder bay, On, Canada
48 posts

hi, i have an additional question to this one that perhaps someone may know. how much is it to call from one european country to another. for example i buy a pay go phone in france and move along on my trip into italy. is it expensive for me to use a pay go phone from france in italy, or is that even possible? thanks, Nat