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How To Purchase a SIM Card In Italy

Having quick and dependable cellular information whereas touring round Italy is basically required today as a result of a lot of Italian life revolves round having cellular information—you’ll want a telephone to entry cellular prepare tickets, restaurant menus, museum/occasion tickets, Google Maps, UBER/taxi, and far more.

On this information, we’ll cowl all the pieces you could learn about shopping for a SIM Card in Italy and easy methods to purchase the most effective Italian high-speed cellular information plan that received’t price you some huge cash.

How To Purchase An Italian SIM Card With A Excessive-Velocity Knowledge Plan

There are two fundamental choices in the case of shopping for a SIM Card for Italy:

  • The Straightforward Means – Purchase a SIM Card Earlier than Your Journey: Shopping for a SIM card earlier than you journey is a bit more costly however it’s far more handy (and you’ve got cellular information as quickly as you arrive in Italy).
  • The Cheaper Means – Purchase a SIM Card In Italy: Shopping for an Italian SIM Card in Italy might be cheaper however it may be extra of a problem as a result of it’s a must to monitor down a SIM retailer after arrival.
    • Typically, it’s simpler to pre-buy a pay as you go information plan in the event you’re visiting for lower than two weeks. However shopping for a neighborhood SIM card can be less expensive for longer journeys.

UPDATE: Most new telephones are eSIM appropriate—which is MUCH extra handy than bodily SIM playing cards as a result of it doesn’t require you to put in a brand new bodily SIM card. You merely purchase the pay as you go information plan, scan a QR code that’s despatched to your electronic mail to put in the digital “card”, and also you’re able to go. Learn The Savvy Backpacker’s Information To The Greatest eSIM Knowledge Plans for Europe and our information to the Greatest eSIM Knowledge Plans for Italy.

How To Purchase A Pay as you go Italian SIM Card Earlier than You Journey (i.e. The Straightforward Means)

The best strategy to get cellular information on your telephone in Italy is to prepurchase a European SIM card earlier than you depart. There are a handful of knowledge plans aimed toward guests/non-residents in order that they’re a bit costlier than shopping for a SIM card in Italy, however there may be zero problem (no monitoring down a cell phone store, no registering your SIM card, no having to take care of individuals who don’t converse English, and so on).

You merely pop the SIM card into your telephone when you’re in Italy and it’ll mechanically hook up with a neighborhood cellular information supplier—the European Union banned information roaming prices so any European information plan will work in any EU nation.

There are a variety of various cellular information plans out there at SimOptions.com (I’ve used them previously) they usually’ll ship the SIM card to you earlier than your journey.

You’ll most likely spend an additional $15-$20 over the course of a two-week journey in the event you purchase forward vs ready to purchase in Italy. Personally, I feel the additional price is well worth the comfort.

The Greatest Vacationer Pleasant Pre-Paid SIM Playing cards For Italy

Listed here are my high SIM playing cards in the event you’re wanting a pre-purchase your SIM earlier than arriving in Italy:

Orange Vacation Europe Pay as you go SIM Card

The Orange Vacation Europe Pay as you go SIM Card might be the most effective all-around possibility for SIM playing cards that may be bought overseas as a result of it gives a number of information for a superb value—and it consists of a number of worldwide calls and textual content.

Moreover, Orange is likely one of the largest cellular firms in Europe in order that they have nice protection all through most of Europe (which isn’t at all times the case with smaller European carriers).

Plan Specs:

  • PRICE: $50
  • DATA: 20GB
  • CALLS: Unlimted in Europe and 1200 minutes worldwide
  • TEXT: Unlimted in Europe and 1000 worldwide

The Orange Vacation Europe plan is nice as a result of it provides you a number of cellular information for an honest value however the one potential disadvantage is the 14-day validity interval—which doesn’t matter in case your journey is lower than two weeks. That stated, you should purchase an additional 10GB of credit score after the 2 weeks are up for round $25.

If you wish to save a bit of cash, take a look at the $30 Orange Vacation plan that provides you 8GB of knowledge for 14 days.


Three UK is one other massive European cellular service and their PAYG AIO15 plan is an efficient worth for individuals who don’t want the 20GB supplied by the Orange Vacation Europe plan. I like how the plan has a validity interval of 30 days so it’s good for longer journeys.

Plan Specs:

  • PRICE: $30
  • DATA: 10GB
  • CALLS: Unlimted in Europe
  • TEXT: Unlimted in Europe

Be aware: SimOptions.com has different playing cards on the market however these are the most effective choices/offers.

How To Purchase SIM Card With Excessive-Velocity Knowledge in Italy

Shopping for a SIM Card in Italy could be a little difficult since many cellular information plans are solely out there to Italian residents as a result of the legislation requires an Italian tax quantity for registration. Some retailers will overlook this in the event you’re not Italian… however not at all times.

There are just a few information plans designed for non-residents that forego these necessities however they’re barely costlier—I’ll cowl the completely different plan choices later on this information.

It doesn’t matter what plan you select, you’ll want your passport to purchase a SIM card.

That stated, it’s best to simply purchase the Orange Vacation Europe plan since it really works in any EU nation.

The place To Purchase A SIM Card with a Knowledge Plan in Italy?

  • Service-Particular Storefronts: The main cellular carriers can have their very own outlets in most main cities that promote their SIM playing cards. Most staff ought to converse some English however they set up SIM playing cards all day in order that they’ll be capable to set you up with out a lot communication wanted.
  • Third-Celebration Telephone Retailers: There are various cell phone outlets that promote a variety of telephone plans from a number of firms. Staff may be capable to supply some assist getting arrange however service most likely received’t be pretty much as good as carrier-specific outlets.
  • Newsstands, Tobacco Retailers, Merchandising Machines, and so on: You’ll find SIM playing cards in a number of smaller outlets at airports, prepare stations, and randomly all through most cities however don’t anticipate any customer support.

The Greatest SIM Playing cards and Cellular Knowledge Plans in Italy

Let’s take a deeper dive into the varied cellular information plans out there in Italy. We’ll cowl each “vacationer” choices and native choices.

TIM Italy (Telecom Italia) SIM Playing cards and Cellular Knowledge Plans

TIM Italy gives a €20/month “TIM Vacationer” cellular information plan that provides you 15GB of knowledge. This plan must be activated in a TIM retailer and there’s a €10 activation cost. Locals pay €16/month (plus a €10 activation cost) for the bottom tier month plan.

Be taught extra at https://www.tim.it/en/landline-mobile/international-calling/from-italy/tim-tourist

WindTre SIM Playing cards and Cellular Knowledge Plans

The WindTre Vacationer Plan is €25/month (which incorporates the activation price) and will get you 20GB of high-speed information. This plan must be activated at a WindTre store. Plans for locals begin round €13/month (plus €10 activation).

Be taught Extra at https://www.windtre.it/offerte-estero-da-italia/tourist-pass-en/

Vodafone Italy SIM Playing cards and Cellular Knowledge Plans

Vodafone sells its Dolce Vita plan that’s €24.99 per thirty days €24.99 per thirty days and consists of 30 GB of cellular information. Plans for locals begin round €13/month plus €5 activation.

Be taught extra at https://www.vodafone.it/common-offerte-telefonia-mobile?=

Italian SIM Card and Pay as you go Knowledge Plan Fundamentals

Right here is a few useful background data on cellular information plans so you’ve a greater concept of how cellular information service works in Italy.

You’ll Want Your Passport and Native Tackle (and Possibly a Codice Fiscale)

All cellular information plans require you to offer your passport info and a neighborhood tackle (which might be your lodge or rental house tackle).

Most plans require that you simply present a Codice Fiscale—which is like an Italian Social Safety Quantity. Clearly, guests received’t have a quantity so some outlets received’t promote you a SIM card however others will generate a quantity for you (so that you may want to go to a number of outlets).

Or you should purchase an Orange Vacation Europe plan which doesn’t require registration.

European Union-Huge Protection

A legislation was lately handed within the EU which banned cellular carriers from charging roaming charges inside the EU—which implies you need to use a SIM card you obtain in Italy and use it in Italy with out paying any additional charges. That is nice for vacationers as a result of you need to use one plan all over the place.

  • Listed here are the nations/areas the place there isn’t a information roaming: Andorra, Azores, Aland islands, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Corfu, Crete, the Cyclades, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France mainland, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Eire, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg. Madeira, Malta. Isle of Man, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom, San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Vatican

Your Telephone Should Be Unlocked

Some cellular carriers (primarily within the US, Australia, and New Zealand) “lock” their telephones in order that they’ll solely work on that service’s community—this usually applies when you’ve got a plan that features a free telephone with a multi-year contract. You’ll have to contact your service and have them “unlock” your telephone so it can settle for a third-party SIM card.

Within the US, carriers are required to unlock telephones if the client requests it however it’s not often unlocked by default. That stated, just a few carriers nonetheless make clients bounce by hoops to unlock their telephones so don’t put this off till the final minute or you might be out of luck.

A New SIM Card Offers You A New Telephone Quantity

Putting in a brand new SIM card provides you a brand new telephone quantity so your previous quantity received’t work till you reinstall your authentic SIM card. So, if individuals want to achieve you, you’ll want to inform individuals your new Italian quantity.

Moreover, plenty of web sites and apps use two-factor authentication that’s related to your telephone quantity so that can not be an possibility with the brand new SIM put in. And in the event you use Uber/Lyft, you’ll have to replace your new telephone quantity within the app whenever you set up your new SIM.

How A lot Cellular Knowledge Do You Want?

So long as you’re not streaming music/movies or importing a ton of photographs, you most likely received’t use greater than 3GB-6GB of cellular information per week.

For those who’re spending a number of time on social media (notably Instagram and TikTok) you then may use a bit extra however in the event you’re simply doing regular net searching and utilizing Google Maps you then may solely use 1-2GB per week.

Extra Ideas On Utilizing Your Cellular Telephone In Italy

I’ve written extensively about utilizing smartphones and information plans in Europe in addition to ideas for shopping for SIM Playing cards For Visiting Europe however beneath are some extra useful recommendations on utilizing your telephone in Italy.

Get A Transportable Battery Charger

Touring together with your telephone will rapidly drain your batteries so I extremely advocate a conveyable battery. I exploit Anker PowerCore 10000 as a result of it’s tiny and reasonably priced however there are a number of choices.

Take Steps To Decrease Your Cellular Knowledge Utilization

Knowledge might be costly and it’s extraordinarily straightforward to unknowingly burn by a number of information as a result of many apps use information within the background. Fb, electronic mail, Instagram, Snapchat… these all continually use information all through the day with out you figuring out it. That’s it’s essential to know easy methods to restrict your information utilization.

Use Airplane Mode And Block Knowledge to Particular Apps

I’ll put my telephone in Airplane Mode as a result of that disables all information (however GPS nonetheless works in Airplane Mode). You may also go into the settings and disable information entry to every particular person app. I’ll go in and switch each off aside from issues like Google Maps or others that I’ll use extra regularly — this fashion after I flip off Airplane Mode solely these apps that can use information. Then I’ll flip Airplane Mode again on after I’m completed.

Obtain Offline Maps

Google Maps enables you to obtain whole metropolis maps to allow them to be used offline. As an added bonus, GPS doesn’t use information so offline Google Maps works pretty properly (however not all performance works). Right here is an efficient YouTube video that explains all the pieces.

Make Calls Over WiFi

WhatsApp is a wonderful app at no cost calling and textual content messages — I’ve discovered that many Europeans completely use WhatsApp to speak (together with many Airbnb hosts).


Listed here are just a few extra country-specific SIM Card guides I’ve written:

Extra Italy Journey Ideas From The Savvy Backpacker

James Feess
Newest posts by James Feess (see all)

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