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Italian SIM for data/Best deal

Looking for best bet for purchasing an Italian SIM card for US iPhone XS Max Verizon. Flying in/out of Rome Fiumicino. Will be in Italy for under one month in Rome, Venice, Florence, and Amalfi coast, and will need data. Any suggestions greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Posted by
46 posts

I used Vodafone SIM card in my I-phone 7. 4 giga of data, 100 minutes of phone time for around 25 Euros. My brother in law used Wind and had lots of issues.

Posted by
5861 posts

We had very good luck last fall using a TIM SIM card and never ran out of data in almost a month. 30€

Posted by
2 posts

I have been using KENA mobile and my husband is using TIM both works very well, about 10 Euro/month with unlimited calls in Europe and 50 gigabytes data.

Posted by
80 posts

I have used to Orange Holiday SIM for my last trip to France and I just bought another for my October trip to Italy and Switzerland. They cost about 30-40% more than buying a SIM locally when you arrive, but is well worth it for me as it avoids the hassle of having to find a telecom kiosk or store when you first arrive. This can be a problem in some instances such as flying into Milan where there is no longer a kiosk in the airport apparently.

Currently, $50 for 20 gb of data over 14 days - but can be topped off and reused again if travelling within a one year period.

Posted by
4695 posts

Jason, the Orange SIM will work fine, but it's kind of expensive especially if you're going to need it for more than two weeks.

My Dutch Vodafone SIM has worked great on three trips now (stays active for six months at a time). I bought it on eBay and have used it in Italy, Slovenia, France, Spain, and Portugal...never in the Netherlands yet, though! Yes, it is nice to land with a fully working phone. You can get 2GB for 9 Euros, 6GB for 19 Euros, or 10GB for 29 Euros...good for 30 days. It will work in the EU and also in Switzerland.

Posted by
780 posts

I was updating my own Italian SIM search today and my jaw dropped. Vodafone now has a Dolce Vita offer for tourists that includes 600 minutes call time to numbers in or out of Italy, unlimited chat/map/social app usage, and 30 GB data for 24,99€. They used to charge 30€ for about 5GB and far fewer minutes. I can't possibly use that much data in the 3 weeks we'll be there, but heck why not at that price. We can let Google Maps lead us everywhere we go, use it for hotspots to avoid public wifi security concerns, post pics to WhatsApp group chats for family and friends at home, stream movies all night long...

oh and it's purportedly 5G - very fast - though that speed may not be available everywhere we're headed

Note this does not include SMS texts. But since we mostly use iMessage or WhatsApp for texting, that is not a limitation for us. YMMV.

Posted by
14 posts

I have been researching SIM cards also. I looked for mobile stores in Rome’s Termini train station and there are several. The TIM card seemed to be popular.
All the shops all have terrible reviews on google. Problems getting the card to work, poor service, long lines, no help after purchase, discrimination because you don’t speak the language.
I am not a techie and as a Canadian senior I am now questioning the wisdom of purchasing a SIM card in Italy! We want to have a phone on our travels and to use it for google maps in the car.
Any one have a positive experience purchasing a SIM card at the station? Can you recommend a shop nearby that has English speaking staff?

Posted by
4695 posts

I have been researching SIM cards also. I looked for mobile stores in Rome’s Termini train station and there are several. The TIM card seemed to be popular. All the shops all have terrible reviews on google. Problems getting the card to work, poor service, long lines, no help after purchase, discrimination because you don’t speak the language.

Hi Carol. I'd probably stick to a corporate TIM store (or Vodafone store), not just another place that sells SIM cards. Find out where they are ahead of time.

If you wish, you can buy a TIM voucher online ahead of time so you just show up at the TIM store with your voucher and there is question about what you are buying.

But if you are worried about a line or poor customer service, don't buy a TIM voucher - wait until you get there. If there's a line at the TIM store or the agents don't speak English, go to a Vodafone store.

(Take your passport with you when buying a SIM card in Italy - you'll need it!)

You might make sure ahead of time that your phone will actually work (well) in Italy. Exactly what kind of phone (make and model) is it? Most newer phones have at least some of the Italian mobile frequencies, but older phones may not. This may be why some people have trouble with SIM cards and others don't.

Is your phone unlocked, so you'll be able to use an Italian SIM in the phone?

I am not a techie and as a Canadian senior I am now questioning the wisdom of purchasing a SIM card in Italy! We want to have a phone on our travels and to use it for google maps in the car.

FYI, you don't even need a SIM card to use Google Maps as a GPS in your car. Your phone's GPS works without any mobile data - if it already has the maps loaded into it. Google Maps has an "offline" feature - you can choose an area (say part of Italy) in which you plan to drive and download the maps into it ahead of time. Then when driving, you can leave the phone in Airplane Mode and just use the phone on WiFi when available, as a GPS the rest of the time when driving. (Google Maps "offline" only works for driving directions and maps, not for walking and public transit.)

You can try Google Maps "offline" at home. Go into the app and find "offline area" and choose the area where you live now. After you've downloaded (do it while on WiFi), put your phone in Airplane Mode. Then go for a drive and test out the phone as a GPS.

Posted by
245 posts

use it for hotspots to avoid public wifi security concerns

You can (and should) easily use a VPN for public wifi (at home and away). Inexpensive and easy to use.

Changing the subject: has anyone used Wind's tourist SIM package? I'm looking at it rather than TIM's.......more data, less cost. Fewer voice minutes, but I rarely use that at all.