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SIM card in Rome

All the posts were over 3 years old, so I'm wondering if anyone has a good place they went to get a SIM card in Rome.
I've got an iphone, it's unlocked, I'll be in Italy for 3 months and will use it to text/call locally (I have What'sApp for calls to the US) and I'll need wifi on the phone for when I rent a car and need directions.
The place I went last time made it so confusing, so any suggestions are appreciated re:
-what plans to get (calls/text/wifi)
-a good store to go to (I'll be staying near Trastevere).

Posted by
1316 posts

We used both an electronics store (like a Best Buy ) and a Vodafone store. In Rome someone in the store should speak a little English. Many different brands for SIM cards, but don’t waste time shopping around.

Our experience is with Vodafone. You can pay for the SIM with a credit card, but go to a Tabbachi to recharge each month with cash, Vodafone does not accept US credit cards.

We’ve had a couple Vodafone plans. One had 300 minutes of free calls to other countries, free data with chat apps, and 18GB per month for €12? We see adds for Iliad for €7.99 a month for 50MB.

See section in attached blog post on SIM cards. Let me know if you have other questions.


Posted by
1343 posts

Iliad offers the cheapest plans these days and their coverage in big cities is quite good.
You can also get either a Tim or a Vodafone or a Wind3 plan aimed to locals; I think that Wind 3 is the only company that allows free tethering, but these things change quickly.
You can top up at ATMs, supermarkets, tobacconists and at newstands selling scratch cards.

Always ask the store staff to turn third-parties payment services off on your new italian SIM. The text you have to send is free, but you must write it in correct italian. They'll do it in 5 seconds and you will avoid "strange" charges.

Posted by
8709 posts

The TIM store at Termini can help you. The staff deals with travelers constantly so understand the particulars.and speak English. When we have been in Europe for more than 30 days, we have purchased vouchers for renewal in the following month(s) somwe do not have to go back to the store.

TIM has worked for us throughout the EU, but be aware it will not function in Switzerland should you cross the border. You need a special add-on for that.

Posted by
50 posts

Does anyone know whether there is an opportunity to purchase the SIM card at Fiumincino? We'll fly in and have about 4 hours at the airport before our flight down to Catania, Sicily. Would love to use that time to get the card installed.

Posted by
106 posts

I'm not sure if it is still available but last April I purchased the 'TIM for Visitors' offer online which I picked up at FCO on arrival. The TIM booth was right across from the ATMs so we hit up both upon exiting the secure area.

TIM for Visitors
• 1 TIM CARD with 5€ of traffic
Cost: Euros 30€ VAT included

Posted by
1316 posts

We were at the local electronics store today and picked up flyer for Vodafone.

The Vodafone Call’Global+ =€10/mo
Unlimited Giga for calls, video chat, and chat by your favorite app
(WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, vibes and many others)
Up to 1000 minutes to your country
500 minutes in Italy
Unlimited calls to Vodafone Italy
15 GB in 4.5G

We always change cell to 3G to preserve data use.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you everyone! I will get my SIM card at the Rome airport when I arrive. Much easier than searching for a store in Rome ( where I seem to be perpetually lost).

Posted by
52 posts

We got the “TIM fo Visitors” when we landed at FCO (last Sept). As I recall the store was easy to find as we made our way to the trains (arrival from USA) and took only a few minutes to get SIM installed.