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best sim card italy

The 10 Best Italy SIM Cards in 2022

Author: Anthony Lee

Phone & Tablet Expert

best italy sim card

Traveling to Italy and looking for a Prepaid SIM Card? We will tell you how good the coverage in Italy is, which providers you can choose from and where you can buy the cheapest SIM card in Italy.

Anyone planning a longer vacation in Italy or even going there regularly had previously experienced that the roaming charges with a SIM Card from your home country are not affordable. This is no longer the case today thanks to EU regulation “Roam Like Home”. You can now “roam” across borders in Europe without any additional mobile internet costs. In some cases, it can still be worthwhile though to order a local Prepaid SIM Card from Italy beforehand and top it up with credit.

Most travellers do not notice it but you may be using your mobile phone more often than at home while traveling. On top of that, most of the times you will be without WiFi. This increase the amount of mobile data consumption which in turn increase the roaming costs. That only happens if your SIM Card allows for roaming abroad. Some providers automatically block the usage to protect their customers. In that case, you will definitely needs a local SIM Card for Italy.

With a prepaid SIM card, you have the full control over costs. You will get a specific amount of data, calls & text for a fixed price. If you run out of data, no extra charges will be made automatically. 

If you want to send a few messages to family and friends, a small prepaid credit should be enough – and you cannot accidentally make too many calls afterwards. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, you should inform yourself about the minute and data tariffs of these SIM cards in order to clear the last questions out of the way.

Here are our favorite Prepaid SIM Cards for a perfect trip to Italy.

The days when you could only use your cell phone to call are over. Internet access for smartphones is important to many people today. Below you will find our best selection of SIM Cards that you can use for mobile internet access in Italy. You can send your holiday pictures back, stream videos on YouTube or Netflix or stay active on your social media platforms.

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Are you looking for an alternative to SIM Cards? We compared the best Pocket WiFi’s.

Three - Pay As You Go Sim Card for Italy

Founded in Hong Kong, but mostly known for its operations in the United Kingdom, Three has evolved to be one of the major internet service providers around the world. Today, Three provides mobile internet service to more than 130 million customers. With the SIM Cards offered by the Three and the Go Roam program, you can browse through the internet in more than 70 countries worldwide. The full coverage can be found here.

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Orange - The European Prepaid Data Sim Card

If you are traveling to Italy, it is definitely worth taking a look at Orange. Orange is the one the major mobile internet companies and its network has been recognized as the best across Europe several times now. Originally known as France Telecom, Orange now has over 250 million customers and is known for its generous Europe SIM Card package. You will be able to use the mobile internet not only in Italy but all across Europe. See below the details.

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Cellhire - International Mobile Sim for Italy

Cellhire might be less known than the other companies mentioned here but they are the leading supplier during events (FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Tour de France and many more). With the headquarters in the United Kingdom and many across offices across the glove, Cellhire has itself established as a major internet provider. The Italy SIM Cards offered by them offer great value.

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OneSimCard - Italy Prepaid Sim

When it comes to international SIM Cards, we definitely cannot overlook OneSimCard. This international mobile service providers offered Prepaid SIM Cards for more than 200 countries worldwide. They allow free incoming calls from 162 countries. So if you need to enjoy mobile data service in Italy and would like to be able to receive calls, then OneSimCard is the right choice for you!

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KeepGo - Italy Roaming Sim Card

You may have not heard about KeepGo before but this company is an official partner of Vodafone, Telefonica and AT&T.  The SIM Card provided by KeepGo is valid forever – without any contract! If you need to use internet in Italy, you simply upload some credit and off you go. It is the most convenient option available if you are traveling to Italy several times per year.

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Mobal - Italy Sim for Calls & Texts

Mobal was founded by an international traveler who became frustrated by the insane roaming costs abroad. Their focus is providing service to American travelers going to Europe. Nonetheless, they offer a wide range of Talk & Text only SIM cards that allow you to connect anywhere you want to go.

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O2 - Leading Mobile Internet Provider in Italy

O2 is a subsidiary of Telefonica UK Limited and employs more than 6700 employees and 450 retail stores worldwide. Just recently, O2 has been awarded as the prize of the Best Network Coverage in 2019 (second time in a row). This mobile network operator is famously known for its blue color and the bubbles. Besides that, they offer great value on their Prepaid SIM Cards for Europe and Italy. Perfect for holiday or business trip abroad to save roaming charges.

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Getting the right Italy SIM Card

Make sure that your smartphone is unlocked. If you own a smartphone that is unlocked, please contact your internet service provider to unlock to be able to use a “foreign” SIM Card.

While most SIM Cards sold today come in 3 different sizes (Nano, Micro and Standard), please check with exact size is compatible with your device before purchasing a SIM Card for Italy. You can check this information on the manufacturer’s website of your smartphone or check the handbook (technically knowledgeable users can of course simply open the device and have a look).

Last but not least, a quad-band-compatible smartphone is needed to use the mobile internet in Europe and Italy.

The advantages of Prepaid SIM cards

With a Prepaid SIM card, you have complete cost control in Italy, both over calls & text and internet data usage. To send a few messages to family and friends, a small prepaid credit should be enough – and you cannot accidentally make too many calls afterwards. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, you should inform yourself about the minute and data tariffs of these SIM cards in order to clear the last questions out of the way.

Get a SIM Card without a contract

It is very important to make sure that there are no minimum length terms for the prepaid card for Italy. Only a card that is as free as possible and does not commit to a long term makes sense for the traveler. Please do not sign a contract that requires you to pay a monthly fee.

If you have a SIM Card for Italy, you can usually do everything that you are used to from your home country SIM Card: Access the mobile internet, make calls and send text messages. The only requirement: the smartphone used must not be locked. This does not happen that often anymore, but should still be mentioned.

Order your SIM card early enough

At airports, train stations or within shops you can buy a SIM card for Italy upon arrival. However, you are then dependent on the sim card activation stating the “codice fiscale” or tax number. This can be created online in advance. You can apply for it in Italy at a tax authority (Agenzia delle Entrate) or create it through some online ticket outlets. Alternatively, travelers can order an already registered SIM card online from some providers. Anyone who decides to do this has the advantage that they can tell their new cell phone number in advance to all the people they want to keep in touch with in Italy.

Where can I get an Italy SIM Card?

A SIM Card for Italy can either be ordered in advance online or bought once you arrive in Italy.

If you order via the Internet, you have the advantage of being able to compare offers in peace and possibly to avoid language barriers. If you stand in front of the different cards in a local shop after your arrival, the selection can quickly become much more overwhelming than if you had ordered the SIM Card in advance.

The available data packages can range from a few MB to several GB. Sometimes you can also book packages of minutes and dates. Most options are valid for 30 days, but the duration can also vary. Large packages in particular can remain valid for several months.

How much internet data do I need for Italy?

It really depends on your personal usage of the smartphone. For example, we work online on-the-go quite often – Text, audio and video – and also like to stream ‘privately’ a movie. In addition, we sync most of the data on Google Drive, which can already account for about one third of our mobile data volume.

If you are planning to only send a few online text messages from time to time, for example WhatsApp messages on your smartphone, check emails and surf a bit in the web browser, then you will have a hard time to even use 2GB during a two-week holiday trip in Europe.

How many GB exactly you need varies greatly. We noticed that there is a constant average growth of data usage per month. Over the years, the monthly data consumption has risen just by the fact that the applications and websites are becoming more complex and require more data during normal surfing.

In the list above, you will see that some SIM Cards for Italy will not have that much data volume available. Either it’s enough for your personal data usage or you can apply new credit to recharge the SIM Card. Please contact the mobile provider in that case.

Roaming in Europe

The EU law “Roam Like Home” has been in place since June 2017. This means that as an EU citizen on holiday or on business trips within the EU, can now use their domestic mobile internet abroad without having to pay roaming charges. 

In reality, however, it is still the case that the various EU countries have to cope with significant price differences. Mobile operators are faced with competitive advantages and disadvantages – due to the local currency, the economy and the construction and operating costs of their networks. Although the EU prescribes maximum prices which, according to a given plan, will gradually decline over the next few years, it also gives countries opportunities to circumvent the regulations.

Exceptions to EU roaming

Countries with very low prices may apply for exemption if the internet roaming of oversea customers would cost too much. Even under “Roam Like Home” the providers can limit their offer abroad. For example, many providers cut off the use of data after a few months or slow down the data speed. In addition, additional costs may be incurred if the use exceeds specified limits.

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Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate