Don’t think that just because you’re a foreigner in Italy, then you have to pay excessive roaming fees just to connect to the internet or that you should give up and travel disconnected. In Roaming, we tell you more about the best alternative, eSIM for Italy, a new way to travel around Italy without losing contact with your friends and family.
But you may be wondering what an eSIM is. It is very simple to understand; it’s a SIM card that works digitally and doesn’t depend on external chips or devices to be able to use it, like, for example, the Pocket WiFi or the traditional physical SIM card that we all know.
In addition, with the eSIM, you won’t have to pay additional costs, and the best thing is that you don’t need to be an expert traveler to use it because, in this article, we will explain everything: how they work, which providers are on the market, and a comparison of their plans and prices so that your trip to Italy is perfect.
What you should know about the eSIM Italy
Italy is a beautiful country, and it would be a shame to run out of internet when you taste the best pizza on the planet. The best way to avoid this is with an eSIM card, but before you use it, we encourage you to check the following minimum requirements.
- As eSIM cards are still a relatively new technology, there are still a certain number of cell phones that are not compatible. Therefore, the first thing you should check is that your cell phone is compatible with an eSIM: in addition, we also suggest that you check that the eSIM carrier supports your device. We know for sure that currently, the iPhone XR or more recent versions are compatible devices that work with eSIMs.
- Another important aspect is that you must have an email to register and receive your eSIM.
- Remember that you must have an internet connection because your eSIM profile will be downloaded from the operator’s servers. You can do this on the first day of your stay in Italy or from a WiFi spot.
- Last but not least, you must know that some providers will ask you to install their app to download the eSIM.
Cellular service providers of eSIM cards to travel to Italy
The purpose of this article is to give you the most relevant information about eSIMs for Italy and for that, an important aspect is to get to know the providers that are on the market. But before going into details, if your cell phone is not compatible with an eSIM, you can still choose a good data plan with a traditional physical SIM.
With that cleared up, these are the companies that provide eSIM to Italy:
Prices and data plans of eSIM providers to travel to Italy
When planning your trip to Italy, you may want more than one option when buying your eSIM card, and to make the process easier for you, we have listed the prices and plans offered by the companies mentioned above.
Just keep in mind that the variation in prices may occur for various reasons ranging from the coverage offered to the data plans or the payment methods available.
If you are looking for an eSIM that offers excellent internet connectivity and also allows you to stay connected at all times, then the Holafly eSIM is an excellent choice, and we will tell you why. First of all, the most outstanding benefit of the Holafly eSIM for Italy is that you will be able to enjoy unlimited data during your trip. This means you won’t have to worry about running out of mobile data during your trip, and you can even make phone calls with it!
On the other hand, the purchase process with this store is quite simple and fast. There will be no need to download any app, as with other stores. You only have to visit their website and search for your destination country, in this case, Italy. In addition, if you are traveling to other countries in Europe, you can also buy the Holafly eSIM for Europe.
After choosing your destination, you must select the plan you prefer, from 5 to 90 days, all with unlimited data. Once selected, you must only pay through a credit card, Paypal or GooglePay. The eSIM will arrive immediately in your email when you finalize your purchase.
Pros of Holafly’s eSIM for Italy:
- You will enjoy unlimited data.
- Their eSIM is very easy to set up and activate.
- Keep your WhatsApp number on your cellphone.
- You’ll have 24/7 customer service.
- Able to make phone calls thanks to an Austrian phone number.
Cons of Holafly’s eSIM for Italy:
- No messages included.
- You can not share data with other devices.
Another provider where you can purchase an eSIM for your trip to Italy is GigSky. To buy their eSIM, customers will have to purchase it through their mobile app. This implies that people must download the application in order to purchase and use the eSIM. It is a drawback because it will take extra time to download the app, learn how to use it, and complete the process.
Once you download the application on your device, you can create an account and start browsing the available plans. In the case of Italy, GigSky offers three different plans. One for 7 days with 512MB at $4.99; another offering 1GB for 15 days at $8.99; and 5GB for 30 days at $39.99. After making your purchase, you will be able to activate the eSIM and start using it.
Pros of GigSky eSIM:
- Economically accessible.
- Easy installation process.
- You can make top-ups through their app.
Cons of GigSky eSIM:
- You must download their phone App to buy an eSIM.
- Some cell phones from Asia are incompatible.
- The internet connection may vary in some locations.
- Doesn’t offer phone calls with any of its plans.
Finally, we will talk about Truphone, a company whose main office is in London but has more than 10 offices worldwide. They specialize in selling eSIMs, not only for travelers but also for businesses and companies.
To purchase an eSIM with this online store, you must process it through their mobile app. You can purchase, manage and renew your eSIM data plans there. As for Italy, you can buy data plans ranging from 1GB to 20 GB, with prices ranging from $5 to $35. However, one thing to note is that almost all of their plans are for 30 days, so if you are traveling for a shorter amount of time, it may not be the best option.
Pros of Truphone eSIM for Italy:
- Coverage in more than 132 countries.
- 4G and 5G speeds in most available destinations.
- You can use the Truphone eSIM with your home country’s SIM Card.
Cons of Truphone eSIM for Italy:
- Only offers plans with a duration of 30 days and one day.
- To purchase an eSIM, you must download their mobile App.
- Doesn’t offer phone calls on any of its plans.
Comparison of eSIM providers for Italy
|Provider||Data||Days||Price (USD)||Language||Sales channels|
|Holafly||Unlimited data||5||$19||Spanish, English, German, and French||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data||15||$47||Spanish, English, German, and French||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data||20||$54||Spanish, English, German, and French||Web|
|Holafly||Unlimited data||30||$64||Spanish, English, German, and French||Web|
|GigSky||1GB||15||$8.99||English||App Store, Play Store|
|GigSky||5GB||30||$39.99||English||App Store, Play Store|
Features of the eSIM to travel to Italy
When you have decided to buy your eSIM, you must know in depth the qualities that differentiate them from the traditional physical SIM. The virtual card is much easier to use, but to make all this clear, we set out a list where you can find the eSIM’s main features.
- Most eSIM cards for travelers don’t offer analog calls, only data. So, if you want to call someone, you can use apps like Skype or WhatsApp. Although, with the Holafly eSIM, you can make analog phone calls too.
- They can be installed only once, so, if you are having problems with your eSIM card, don’t delete it from your cell phone and instead contact your eSIM provider.
- Keep in mind that some eSIMs configure the automatic APN.
- You can add multiple data plans on your iPhone, but this depends on the available memory, and it’s only possible to use one at a time.
- You will have Unlimited data with some eSIMs.
- You will have a dual-SIM iPhone, as you will be able to keep your local SIM when you travel to Europe. Remember to set up your iPhone to avoid surprise invoices.
Mobile Internet coverage map for travel to Italy
When you are ready to buy your eSIM card, don’t forget to ask about the coverage offered by the plan you are choosing, sometimes a very cheap plan may not provide you with enough coverage, and this has to do with the plan and the previous roaming agreements that the eSIM company has with the domestic providers.
In Italy, the operators with the greatest coverage in the country are Telecom Italia, Vodafone, and Wind Tre.
Telecom 4G coverage map in Italy
Vodafone 4G coverage map in Italy
Wind Tre 4G coverage map in Italy
Local cellular operators offering eSIM in Italy
Finally, we want you to know that if you are soon traveling to Italy, you will be able to get a prepaid eSIM through one of the following local carriers. We will talk in detail about their plans, benefits, and how to buy and activate their eSIMs.
eSIM TIM for Italy
TIM is one of the most traditional mobile operators in Italy. It offers tourists a plan of 50 GB and 200 minutes to be used in Italy and Europe for a cost of approximately 15$. This plan allows you to request activation through an eSIM card, but we must mention that it is only possible to purchase it in the physical stores of the company, of which there are a huge number of possibilities around the Italian territory.
It is possible to make a “Pre-purchase” through TIM’s website, but it will still be necessary to pick it up at any of the branches once you arrive in Italy, even if it is an eSIM card that is requested. There are also two alternatives to this. One is called the Viaggio pass, which allows you to enjoy the benefits in Europe, the USA, Canada, and Brazil, and another called Viaggio pass MONDO for the rest of the world.
Benefits of TIM eSIM in Italy
As we have already mentioned, not only will you have support and coverage with one of the most established phone companies in Italy, but you will also have the possibility to use these benefits around Europe. Once you purchase the TIM eSIM tourist, you will have access to:
- No roaming costs for making or receiving calls.
- 4G browse at the speed of light thanks to TIM 4G internet.
- Maximum flexibility when using minutes to call Italy and abroad.
- No call set-up charge.
How to activate a TIM eSIM in Italy
First of all, as mentioned before, you must purchase one of the available plans, go to one of the physical points of sale and request your eSIM. After that, you will receive a QR code which you must scan to download your profile as if it were a physical SIM card. After this, your plan will be activated automatically, and your phone line will be activated.
As a last step, you must associate your personal data with TIM eSIM and follow the instructions in the configuration guide of your device. These guides are available on TIM’s website and vary according to your phone’s Operating system (iPhone, Samsung, SmartWatch, etc.).
eSIM Vodafone for Italy
The well-known European phone operator also offers eSIM services for Italy. Vodafone, from April 2021, sells this format of virtual SIM not only for smartwatches but also for all compatible devices. This service has an additional cost of about 1$, and you must order it together with one of the plans available in its product catalog. In case of loss, theft, or other situation that makes you lose your device and, therefore, your eSIM, the replacement of this card will cost $10 and must be processed in any of the physical stores throughout the country.
Benefits of Vodafone eSIM in Italy
Unlike other options, the Vodafone eSIM for Italy allows you to transfer an active card to another device. In addition to the usual positive qualities of this technology, such as the elimination of plastic and the convenience of the service, it is a great solution for telecommunications. With the Vodafone eSIM, you should also keep these advantages in mind:
- Set it up briefly, and you will be connected immediately.
- You no longer need to insert and remove the SIM card from your new phone.
- It can’t get lost or damaged because it is downloaded directly to your smartphone.
- You can easily transfer it from one device to another
How to activate a Vodafone eSIM in Italy
The first step to activate these cards is to purchase one of the plans available in the Vodafone service catalog and request the activation through an eSIM. After this, you will have at hand a QR code which, when scanned, will allow you to download your eSIM profile on your smartphone (just as if you insert a physical SIM in your phone) and be able to use the Vodafone connectivity immediately. It is worth mentioning that this eSIM will have a PIN and PUK code associated with it as if it were a physical card with which your Vodafone customer information will be associated to the device.
eSIM Wind Tre for Italy
Wind Tre Business is another option to purchase your eSIM card for Italy. All the plans and tariffs available with the phone company can be activated through an eSIM. There is a plan called Tourist Pass aimed at interested foreigners, which has a data package of 20GB for use in 30 days and offers 13.7GB for use in the European Union member countries. In either case, if you opt for a contract as a resident or for the tourist plan as a foreigner, you must go to one of the Wind Tre Business physical stores to process the purchase and request your eSIM.
Benefits of Wind Tree eSIM in Italy
One of the biggest advantages of Wind Tre eSIM is that you can “Download” it up to 5 times in case you want to transfer it from one device to another. You can also renew your 30 days plan for another month just by sending an sms to 4033 with the command PASS RESTART. With Wind Tre Business eSIM, you will also be enjoying the following:
- Calling and messaging support in more than 55 Destinations.
- No speed limitations in any of the countries and in the amount of data.
- The possibility to manage your eSIM through the Wind Tre APP, available in Italian and English.
- Possibility of roaming in countries of the European Union at no additional cost
How to activate a Wind Tre eSIM in Italy
You must visit a Wind Tre store and request the plan that best suits your needs. We remind you, in case you are a tourist, to request the Tourist Pass and activate it through eSIM. After this, you must scan the QR code that you will receive in the eSIM voucher. This will start the download of your profile with your personal information associated.
Finally, the configuration will depend on your device, you will always be asked to confirm compatibility before purchasing it, and you have to remember that it is necessary to have an internet connection when activating the eSIM on your phone. After this, you will be enjoying the Wind Tre network in the Italian territory and in Europe. If you want more management of your eSIM and check data consumption, remember to download the app of the provider on your phone.
FAQ about eSIM Italy
We hope that this information for your trip to Italy has been useful. We also have listed some frequent questions that travelers usually have when purchasing an Italy eSIM. If you have more questions, leave them in the comments.
Telecom Italia’s (TIM) local eSIM is primarily intended for people living in Italy. To connect to the internet during your trip to Italy, you can use the international eSIM from Holafly or WifiMap.
It’s not necessary to present a passport, but some providers do require your address. This applies only to the eSIM for tourists, not to the eSIM offered by Telecom Italia (TIM), who will ask for your information.
No, the eSIM for Italy does not allow you to share data.
After installing the virtual SIM profile, you must choose it as the default means of cellular data, activate data, and roaming, and your virtual SIM should now work.
Yes, like physical cards, virtual SIMs also have an expiration date.
From the moment you activate your eSIM, by scanning the QR code on your phone.
The eSIM is the evolution of traditional SIM cards. It works due to a chip inserted inside the cell phone, which allows the profile to be stored and configured. To learn more, we encourage you to read: what an eSIM is and how it works.