In 2016 alone, Rome had over 52 million people travelling within its borders, making it one of the most travelled countries in the world. The birth place of one of the longest and most influential civilizations in the world, the Roman Empire and the Renaissance makes it a mecca for the culture and the arts evident in the architecture and artworks in its cities. One can see this in places like the Colosseum, Pompeii, Venice Canals, Vatican City and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. What makes Rome unique is that it has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any country in the world.
Rome doesn’t only have wonderful culture and cities but marvelous natural wonders as well. One of the most famous spot in Italy is the postcard like view of Lake Como, Gran Paradiso and Capri. The country has also beautiful and serine beaches like Elba, Apulia and Levanto.
Looking forward on travelling to Italy? We’ll help you get one thing off your mind. We will guide you on buying a SIM card for your travel in this beautiful country.
The First Thing You Need To Do
The first thing you need to is to check if your phone is unlocked. Having an unlocked phone means that your phone is compatible with any SIM card. This is a necessary step if you are a planning to switch your SIM card with a foreign one especially if your phone tied to a specific service provider.
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Choosing A SIM Card
Before we get started, it is worth mentioning that if you’re coming from other parts of Europe it’s not really necessary for one to buy a new SIM Card as it will work fine in Italy though do this with precaution and inquire with your service provider as terms and conditions may vary from one European Country to another and might cost unwanted charges. The best thing to do is call your service provider and ask for additional costs.
Another thing worth mentioning is that in 15th of June 2017, roaming services for countries which are a part of the European Union are cancelled meaning there are no additional charges for utilizing data, texts and costs without additional costs. We would like to emphasize this as this is only applicable to countries belonging to the European Union and not Europe itself and it is not applicable to countries like Turkey and Switzerland.
Another important thing important to mention is that identification is necessary for you to be able to buy a SIM card in Italy. You need to register at the point of purchase of SIM card.
The country has four main service providers:
TIM is Italy’s largest service provider. They offer a “Piani Base” packages. One package is called “One Prime Go” which costs €0.49 per week and includes free access to TIM app and free calls and texts to one desired number. Another is “TIM Base New”, this package offers a free SIM card and you’ll need to add packages. They also offer “TIM Special Voice” which includes domestic 500 minutes of call with no data services and costs €10. Another is “TIM Special Voice + Data” which comes with domestic 500 minutes of call and 2GB worth of data and costs €15. They also offer “TIM Special Start” with domestic 1000 minutes of call and 2GB worth of data and costs €20. Another is “TIM Large” which comes with domestic 3000 minutes of call and 3GB worth of data and costs €30. They also have “TIM Special Unlimited” which comes with unlimited domestic texts and calls, 1500 minutes of call to Europe and US and 6GB worth of data all for €40. One of their best deals is “TIM Special Pack” which comes with 2,000 domestic calls and 20 GB worth of data good for six months all for €49.
TIM also offers a special package only for tourists, as local cannot purchase the product. They offer a tourist SIM card for €20 which comes with €5 credit, 100 minutes of domestic calls and 4GB worth of data good for 30 days. They also offer “TIM in Viaggio Pass” which also costs €20 and it comes with 500 minutes of domestic calls, 500 text messages and 10GB worth of data valid for ten days. Another is “TIM in Viaggio Internet” which costs €25 and comes with 4GB worth of data good for 10 days and is applicable in Europe, Switzerland and USA.
Vodafone comes second to TIM. They offer a SIM card which cost €10. They also offer “Tutto Facile Basic” which costs €4 per day with 500MB worth of data. Another offer they have is “Vodafone 19” which costs €6 per day and comes with 1GB worth of data and 2GB worth of data on Sundays. They also offer a combo of call, texts and data packages: “Vodafone Start” which cost €10 and comes with 400 minute worth of call, 100 text messages and 100 MB worth of data, “Vodafone Digital” which cost €15 and comes with 400 minute worth of call, 100 text messages and 2GB worth of data and “Vodafone Super” which cost €18 and comes with 400 minute worth of call, 100 text messages and 3GB worth of data. All of the packages are valid for 28 days.
You can also avail their data packages: for €5 you can have 1GB worth of data, for €14 you can have 3GB worth of data, for €19 you can have 5GB worth of data and for €29 you can have 10GB worth of data. They also offer other roaming deals for several other countries.
The third largest operator in Italy, Wind, offers their standard SIM card for €10. They also offer “Wind Senza Scatto” which costs €0.19 per week. You can add three different packages on top of this: First, “All Inclusice Unlimited” which costs €12 and comes with 500 minutes of call, 500 text messages and 5GB worth of data. “All Digital” costs €10 and comes with 500 minutes of call, unlimited text messages and 5GB worth of data. “Noi Tutti” which costs €7 is a call only package and comes with 400 minute worth of call. They also offer data only packages: “Internet No Stop” which costs €5 and comes with 1GB worth of data and is good for 28 days. “Internet No Stop Large” which costs €7.50 and comes with 2GB worth of data and is good for 28 days.
Tre is the smallest of the four service providers and is set to merge with wind. Tre’s SIM cards costs €10 and packages needs to be added before the SIM can be activated. Tre offers a SIM card specifically for tourists called “Power29”. They also offer data-only SIM cards which comes with five different packages: “Super Internet Play” which costs €10 and comes with 10GB worth of data good for 30 days, “Super Internet 5GB” which costs €5 and comes with 3GB worth of data good for 30 days, “Super Internet 10GB” which costs €10 and comes with 10GB worth of data good for 30 days, “Super Internet 30GB” which costs €15 and comes with 10GB worth of data good for 30 days and “Super Internet Express” which costs €20 and comes with 20GB worth of data good for 90 days.
The general coverage of these providers is good especially if you’re within the city but might be weak in certain parts especially in rural areas, shorelines, country sides and mountains.
Where do I buy one?
Now that you have a general idea of your choices, where do you actually get one? SIM cards in Italy can be availed in the official stores of the service providers and authorized resellers. They are also available in airport shops, cigar and liquor stores, and super markets. We recommend you to buy it from the official stores and authorized resellers as assistance in setting up the SIM card is readily available.
If you want to utilize your own phone, remember to get it unlocked beforehand so that it can accommodate a foreign SIM card. Another important thing to remember is identification such as passport or any relevant IDs are required upon the purchase of the SIM card. Make sure that what you’ll get will accommodate your needs and the duration of your stay.