Phone in italy

SO we are planning totravel to italy from jun 7 to jun 18. I would like to get a local phone so that i can call our villa contacts or apt contacts in rome for like directions or any other random stuff adn things like that. AT&T is charging $30 bucks for i think 30 international minutes. Is there a cheaper way to get a local prepaid phone in italy

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Tulan, A few questions and comments.... > I'm assuming you're with AT&T? Is your phone an unlocked quad-band model? > Are you using a Smartphone such as an iPhone or Android? You have three basic choices: 1.) Use your existing phone, either with a SIM card purchased in Italy (you will require a Codice Fiscale and registration with Passport) or with a SIM card from one of the "travel phone" firms such as Roam Simple, Cellular Abroad, Call In Europe, Telestial, Mobal or EuroBuzz (there are others). 2.) Buy a cheap PAYG phone when you arrive in Italy from one of the local networks (TIM, Wind, etc.). You'll still have to deal with the Codice Fiscale, etc. and will probably need help setting it up, as menus will be in Italian. Be sure you're clear on the methods for topping-up. 3.) Buy a cheap unlocked quad-band GSM phone off E-Bay and use it either with a SIM bought in Italy (again, Codice Fiscale, etc.) or with a SIM from one of the travel phone firms mentioned above. With the travel phone firms, some of them use post-paid billing, so no worries about topping-up, and the per-minute rates are quite reasonably (IMHO). Many of them use phone numbers based in the U.K. Regarding the Codice Fiscale, Roberto or one of the others can provide the details on how to obtain one. I've been using a "travel SIM" for the last few years, so I've never had occasion to need a Codice Fiscale. Cheers!

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Tulan, You may be able to buy a TIM or WIND SIM card on E-Bay, but I've never checked nor do I have any idea how you'd set it up. I don't know how to obtain a Codice Fiscale, as I use a travel SIM so have never needed to obtain one. Hopefully Roberto will spot this Thread as he will be able to provide information on that. The easiest way to have a working SIM from the U.S. would be to buy a SIM card from one of the "travel phone" firms I listed earlier. That way you'd have a working phone as soon as you step off the plane. However, keep in mind that the SIM would probably have a U.K. phone number so if a hotel in Italy wanted to contact you, they'd have to make a call to the U.K. The Nokia N-93 appears to be a tri-band phone, but does appear to have the two European frequency bands. BE SURE to check the phone charger to ensure that it's designed for operation from 100-240 VAC. You will of course need Plug Adapters. Cheers!

Posted by Genie
Americus, GA
25 posts

We put an Italian SIM card into an old cell phone. We got it from (1-800-287-5072). It was really easy and inexpensive. We got the card before we got to Italy so we were ready to call our hotel to let them know we had arrived (they were picking us up). We can keep using the card/phone each time we travel to Italy and only need to add minutes as needed. Their support services are also quite good. Hope this helps.

Posted by Mike
94 posts

This March, we got an unlocked refurbished Samsung AT&T Captivate smartphone for $120. on EBay and first used it in the US for AT&T Pay As You Go. When we got to Italy we bought a TIM SIM and it worked fine. Now we can check e-mail when we get a wi-fi connection, as well as make calls. Remember to turn off the smartphone's option to connect to the internet via TIM. Ours did it automatically as we were unaware, and it's 4 Euro per day. You may have to try a couple of places, as the clerks make up their own rules. At a TIM counter in a big electronics store, the clerk wouldn't accept our original Codice Fiscale card from 1990, as she was used to her Italian customers presenting their Health Service cards. The next store didn't bat an eyelash at the same documents.

Posted by Tulan
NOrth andover, ma, USA
39 posts

so what documents are required to get this sim card.... what is the best place in rome to get this card if we need it. Also is there a way where i can do everything here in US since i have a nokia n93 unlocked phone . Can i get a sim card here and then start using in italy thank

Posted by Rose
2 posts

I copied this information from an earlier post from Robert. Hope it helps! To buy a SIM card while in Italy you need the following documents: PASSPORT LOCAL ADDRESS (your hotel will do) CODICE FISCALE (Italian Tax Code) You can obtain you codice fiscale as follows Go to the website below: Enter the following in the boxes provided: COGNOME= Last Name NOME= First Name (as it appears in passport, middle name included, if you have one in the passport) SESSO=Sex (M=Maschio, F=Femmina) COMUNE/PROV= Place of Birth. In your case enter STATI UNITI (if you were born in the US). Then in the second box for Provincia enter EE (EE=esteri=overseas).
DATA DI NASCITA=Date of birth Click on CALCOLA Print the card and take with you to Italy.

Posted by Gerard
Temora, NSW, Australia
172 posts

Hi if you want cheap phones and not concerned with getting new cell phone #'s, just go to one of the providers over there, we used Vodafone, 25euro, prepaid so easy to top up when needed. They required our passport for their paperwork though.