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Texting Question (Italy)

I will be taking my iPhone 6 (ATT) to Italy and France next month for 15 days and am debating adding the $30 Passport or pay-as-you-go .50/text option. From what I read it seems like when we are in wi-fi it texts would be free to our family with iPhones in the US as iMessages but we when we don't have wi-fi then there is the per text fee.

If I want to send a text to an Italian tour guide do I enter it is as +39 399 123 4567? And texting someone in the US is + 1 (area code) 1234567? Does the same dialing directions hold true for voice calling?

Thank you!!

Posted by
8889 posts

Correct. It is safest to save all phone numbers on your phone in full format:
+{Country Code}{Area Code}{Number}
then it will always work wherever you are. You will not get charged extra for entering the "+{Country Code}" even if you are in the same country. And the country code for Italy is 39, and the USA is 1. Italian area code 39 is the province of Monza (see here: http://www.paginebianche.it/prefissi-italia.htm?l=en )

Posted by
47 posts

Thank you! So I will be able to still send a text without wi-fi when I have Data Roaming turned off?

Posted by
13092 posts

Is your iphone unlocked? or still under contract?
If it can be unlocked (generally after 2 years if purchased from the carrier on a purchase plan), you might be better off with a local SIM card rather than the passport plan with At&t. Vodafone Holiday plan (designed for visitors to Italy) charges 30 euro for 2 Gb data plan+300 outgoing texts worldwide+300 voice outgoing minutes worldwide (incoming calls and texts are always free and unlimited in Italy). That way you'll be able to use it fully like you do at home without worrying \about excessive data charges. The only disadvantage is that your phone will have an Italian number while you use the Italian SIM card, therefore people calling you at your American number will go to voicemail unless you tell them what number to reach you. One way around it is to have your calls forwarded to a google number voicemail that you can check while you are traveling.

Posted by
47 posts

HI Roberto- no my iPhone is not unlocked as I just got it last year. I'm not sure if the $30 passport option with ATT is worth it since I'm not planning on texting a lot but it might be nice to be able to have the option to use the phone when not on wifi while we are driving around (we will be in Sardinia for 10 days).

Posted by
42 posts

We used the AT&T Passport option for our trip last year, and will be using it again for Italy as well in two weeks. May not be the cheapest option but we did use the texting and the bit of data that came with it. It was nice to be able to text our AirBnb when we landed and when our train arrived.