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Italy, Spain, Rome

Local SIM card in Italy with data plan ?

Hi everyone, 

Me and my so called cool friend will be travelling to Italy and Spain for 14 days short trip. We are thinking to buy local sim card with data plan for the whole trip duration. We will be landing in Rome, so will be buying it there definitely and then, will use it in whole Italy and Spain. Can you give us fair idea about best deals for us, charges related info, any documents needed to buy and roaming info. 

We don't plan to use it heavily, mostly data use and emergency calls ( mostly incoming calls ). 

Thanks in advance,

3 Answers

top answer by
Valerie from Seattle

Aditya, have a great time on your trip!

Here are a couple tips... there aren't any locations to go with it though.

When I visited Italy, I popped into a 3 store (one of the phone providers) to see if I could get service while I was there for six days. I don't know if this holds true for every nationality, but they told me that if you show your passport, they run some sort of identification verification and you can get a SIM card three days later. So if you're on a longer trip, and can wait those first few days, you should be able to get a cheap SIM from most companies like 3.

Many of the 'pay as you go' carriers have unlimited data, so if you do decide to get a SIM, you should be fine for getting enough data to cover your usage. It shouldn't be too expensive either, maybe £25/$40 for a whole month of usage... then again, I'm not sure if there is an additional fee for being a visitor.

Finally, once you get a SIM, it should work everywhere. Recently, the EU passed a law that say data is no longer nationally bound--if you travel from Italy to Spain to England to Norway, etc., your service should always work. Confirm that with the carrier you select.

Good luck, and have a great trip!

11 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Marco from Bergamo

Hello! I am not sure about the procedures you need to follow, but as to the companies in Italy there are 4 big players plus some smaller ones: TIM (ex national company), Vodafone, Wind, 3.

Most carriers offer data plans with either 1 / 2 Gb per month, or 250 / 500 Mb per week.

TIP: you might write on each carrier's Facebook/Twitter pages to get detailed information about the procedures you'll have to follow. They usually answer fairly quickly.

As to websites, not sure they have English versions: in case try with Google translate.

3 ( tends to have the cheapest deals, however coverage is not good everywhere, which means if you go to some place that is not covered you will have to pay roaming for your data. But basically if you stay away from the mountains and remote areas you should be safe.

TIM ( has the best coverage and occasionally some good deals. For example, it is the only carrier that works well in my village both for GSM and data.

Vodafone ( can be a good bet if you visit some other EU country, as it is a multinational company.

Wind ( also has offers comparable to Vodafone and TIM, but coverage and quality of service do not stand out from my experience. They suffered a major interruption a few weeks ago that affected at least 1/4 of the user base for a day. However, if you can grab a hassle-free deal, it's good enough.

As Valerie pointed out starting from this month fares for calling and data have decreased sensibly because of a EU-law. However, expect to pay more than for national calls and data. For data, usually when in another country you pay (even within the EU) either per Mb or by signing up for some deal, which tends to be cheaper (e.g. 500 Mb for 7 days).

Pretty much all shopping centers have shops specific for each of these carriers. In bigger cities you will find them also on shopping streets.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Italy (country)
8 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Robson from Istanbul

Hi Aditya,
I bought a SIM card from Lycamobile just outside Centrale.
Got a deal of 200min + 100 SMS + 1GB for Euro 15,00.
You present your passport and get the SIM right away. However it took about 20 hours to get it activated.
I'll use it only in Italy and it's working fine. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Centrale (neighborhood)
3 thankscomments (1)

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