Use Cell phone in Italy: How much does it cost? (Guide for travelers)

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We all know that keeping our cell phones with us while traveling is vital, especially to maintain contact with our family, friends, or work. So if you’re traveling to Italy soon, throughout this article we will be telling you how to use your cell phone in Italy. 

No matter what the situation is, you will always need an internet connection to be able to use your cellphone. So today, in this article, we will also tell you about the different alternatives you will have to stay connected during your trip to this beautiful country. Read on to discover the advantages, disadvantages, and costs of each option. 

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Can I use my cell phone in Italy?

Having a cell phone with you while traveling to Italy is very handy. So if you want to know if you will be able to use your cell phone in Italy, let us tell you that you will most likely be able to use it. However, this will depend on several factors, such as the model of the phone you have, whether it’s unlocked, the network frequencies it works with, and also the coverage of the operator you are connected to during your trip. 

First of all, if you want to know if your cell phone is compatible with the frequency bands that are used in Italy, below you will find a table with the specifications. What you have to do is to verify that your cellphone works with the following frequencies:

TechnologyBands
5G bandsn28a (700), n78 (3500), n258 mmWave (26GHz)
4G bandsB1 (2100), B3 (1800), B7 (2600), B8 (900), B20 (800), B28a (700), B32 (1500), B38 (TDD 2600)
3G bandsB1 (2100), B8 (900)
2G bandsB3 (1800), B8 (900)
Table 1: Network frequencies in Italy. Source: kimovil.com

Other factors that you should consider when checking if you will be able to use your phone in Italy, are to know if it is unlocked, and also know the coverage of the operator to which you will be connected. 

What are the options for using a cellphone in Italy?

Connecting to cellular data in Italy using your cell phone is not complex, in fact, there are even some ways that are free such as Wifi hotspots, although they are not very secure. But during this article, we will tell you about the different options available to you, such as SIM cards, Pocket Wifi, eSIMs, international roaming, local operators, and free Wifi hotspots. 

eSIM for traveling abroad

One of the quickest and easiest ways to connect to the internet is to buy an eSIM for Italy. Moreover, through the Holafly online shop, you can purchase one from anywhere in the world in a couple of minutes. Here you have additional information on Holafly’s eSIM plans:

Days of useAmount of dataPrice (USD)
7 days3GB$27 USD
15 days5GB$34 USD
20 days8GB$44 USD
30 days10GB$49 USD
Table 2: Values of Holafly’s eSIM data variants for Italy

We would also like to tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of these eSIMs:

Advantages

To learn a little more about these virtual SIM cards, here are some of their advantages:

  • These eSIMs allow you to share data.
  • You will have a dual-SIM cell phone.
  • Full speed internet (in 4G LTE).
  • In case of a problem with your eSIM, Holafly provides 24/7 support.
  • No minimum clause or contract. It is an easy and secure virtual purchase.

Disadvantages

In addition to the positive aspects of this eSIM, we would also like to comment on its negative aspects, which are as follows:

  • Most eSIM cards for travelers don’t offer analog calls, only data.
  • They can be installed only once
  • Not all cell phones are compatible with eSIMs.

International SIM Card for Italy

In case you prefer to purchase a more traditional alternative, such as a SIM card, you can also do so, and currently, there are many online stores where you can purchase them. For this reason, if you are going to Italy, Holafly’s cellular data SIM card will make your life easier. Here are some of its main features:

Days of useAmount of dataPrice (USD)
30 days8GB$37.72 USD
30 days12GB$48.81 USD
Table 3: values of the data variants of Holafly’s SIM card for Italy

To learn more about these SIM cards, here are their advantages and disadvantages so that you can compare them with other alternatives. 

SIM card advantages

Here are some of the advantages you can count on if you decide to use a Holafly SIM card for your trip to Italy:

  • For Italy, Holafly delivers your SIM card to your workplace or home within 48 hours.
  • You’ll have 24-hour support and technical help via the Holafly website chat.
  • You keep your WhatsApp number without any problems.
  • Cellular internet coverage for Italy and 47 other countries in Europe.
  • It’s very easy to activate and use. 

SIM card negative aspects

On the other hand, these SIM cards also have one or two cons, so it is important to take this into account:

  • You cannot make calls or send SMS.
  • In some areas of Italy, the connection speed may drop to 3G.
  • You can only use cellular data with this device.

Pocket WiFi for Italy

A pocket WiFi is a portable wireless device that you can use to share data with your devices. So, this Pocket WiFi is an option that would also allow you to stay connected to the internet whenever you need it. 

However, this alternative tends to be one of the most expensive of all, since, in addition to renting the device, you will most likely have to pay extra for shipping the device and for insurance in case of theft or loss. So, in total, renting a pocket wifi for Italy could range from 50 USD to 190 USD.

Free WiFi in Italy

Another option you can have to use your cell phone while traveling to Italy is free WiFi. It sounds like something amazing because you won’t have to pay any cost for it, but you must know that probably you won’t have an internet connection all the time either.

Remember that WiFi connections only work when people are near them. So, in case you want to rely on one, we recommend people to have a second choice in mind too. Also, it is important for you to know that Free WiFi tend to be insecure connections because many people can connect to it. 

Can I use my phone service in Italy?

Depending on the country you come from, and obviously, your domestic operator, you will be able to connect to the internet in Italy with the international roaming option that many operators have. With this, you will have to pay an extra cost for the use of data, messaging and calls, which if you don’t control your usage could be very expensive. 

In addition, some operators offer their users different plans or extra bonuses when traveling to another country. However, usually, these special plans are for those users with the most expensive operator services. Below we will tell you about two operators with which you can keep your connection in Italy. 

Using my cell phone in Italy with Telstra 

With this Australian company, you can also connect to the internet while traveling to Italy. So if you are one of Telstra users, then you must know that you’ll be able to use the international roaming service. 

With Telstra, you can use data with the option pay as you go, in which you will have to pay 3 USD per MB of use. On the other hand, with Telstra you can also have a plan of 500 MB of data plus unlimited calls and messages for $10 USD per day. 

Using my cell phone in Italy with Verizon

If you are a Verizon user, and you want to use their services in Italy, then you have two options. The first one is the International Pass, which gives users access to the roaming service costs $10 per day.

On the other hand, you can also have the International Monthly Pass which costs $100 per month and gives access and more benefits to those who pay for the service.

Local cellular operators in Italy

This last alternative to using your cellphone is with local cellular operators from Italy. You can find them once you arrive in the country, at the airports. You’ll be able to get a SIM card is in physical shops of Italian operators in the airport you arrive at. This is an option that many international travelers still opt for as they can choose between several operators, and analyze prices/benefits.

Once you are at the airport in Rome, Milan, Naples, Palermo, or any other city you are traveling to, look for the physical shops of the most popular Italian cellular companies, which are Vodafone and TIM. However, you should also consider that if you prefer this option, you will not be able to use your cell phone with internet until you purchase one of the services, so you will be a little bit out of touch. 

How much does it cost to use my cell phone in Italy?

Below you will find a summary of the costs of all the above-mentioned options to use your cell phone in Italy and stay connected. So, you will have the opportunity to compare the pros and cons of each alternative, as well as their prices. 

Service Internet tariff in Italy
eSIM card Italy10GB for 30 days for 49 USD
SIM card Italy12GB 30 days at 49.31 USD.
Telstra roaming in Italy$3/MB
Verizon Roaming in Italy10 USD per day
Pocket WiFi for Italy$45 to $190 USD for 7 days
Public WiFi in ItalyFree
Table 4. Rates of the different options to connect to the internet in Italy

We recommend that when deciding about which alternative to choose for your trip, check factors such as connectivity, the service you will have, costs, and of course, your comfort. We, who are travelers like you, consider that the best and most comfortable option to use your cell phone in Italy is with an eSIM or SIM card, and with Holafly you can acquire them in a simple, safe and fast way.  

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