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2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

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New York
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2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

I'm reposting this from the Italy forum in hopes of some responses, since I will be flying into Venice for this trip.

I'll be spending 2 1/2 weeks in Italy, primarily in small villages. I would like to purchase a SIM card to put into an old unlocked Motorola flip phone. My primary use will be to receive calls from the USA and to text message to and from the USA. I need to be on a service that will get reception in non-city locations and which has reasonable charges (free receipt of calls would of course be great!). I would also like to be able to communicate in English with the provider, if possible, in case there are problems. I had a very good experience with a Lebara SIM in France. I'm hoping to find something similar for Italy. Recommendations and tales of personal experiences are appreciated. Thanks.

Also - I just read posts from July 2012 on another forum that foreign tourists were not able to buy SIM cards from 2 different providers in Italy. Having a passport and explaining that they were tourists did not work. If that is the case then I have to pay the upcharge for a TIM card from Telestial. Has anyone tried to get a TIM or Vodaphone or WIND card in Italy in recent months? What were your experiences?

Venice, Italy
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1. Re: 2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

In response to a thread here several months ago I stopped at the TIM store in Rio Terà San Leonardo and asked specifically (in Italian, explaining the situation) and was advised that purchasing the SIM with a valid foreign passport is no problem whatsoever.

Outside the urban areas TIM *generally* has the best reception, on average, but occasionally when out at some agriturismo with friends TIM doesn't catch and one of either Wind or Vodafone has a full signal.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: 2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

I purchased a SIM card in May and had no problems whatsoever. As long as you have your passport. Where I bought the SIM card, the staff spoke English but I didn't have to speak to the provider so not sure if they have English speaking staff. I purchased a WIND card and had no reception problems in city or in the country for the most part. Previously I had used TIM and had no problems with that either. Check to see which provider offers the best price for your particular usage.

Venice, Italy
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3. Re: 2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

Just noticed one part of the question: as far as i know, no provider charges the SIM holder for incoming calls in Italy, unless you are in international roaming. That could happen (even unbeknownst to you) in some border areas like Trieste or near Austrian, for example.

New York
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4. Re: 2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

Finally located the other forum where 2 posters said they could not buy an Italian SIM card using their passports as ID. donaldstrachan.com/archive/…

This seems to be a very recent issue, and I believe it has to do with security concerns. If anyone has experience from the past month, please let me know.

SoCal
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5. Re: 2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

You can also get an Italian SIM card from this site and have it sent to you before you leave:

saveonroaming.de/epages/17214603.sf/en_US/…

I used their top-up service last year for my two TIM SIM cards, but they now offer other services as well. The site gets good feedback on other travel sites, and my own transaction was smooth and trouble free-I verified my top-up credit within a few hours of sending the funds via Paypal.

With regard to non-Italian SIM card purchases, there is another thread on the RS site that discusses this issue, in which some tourists have no problems but others do-it seems to be relatd more to the store one uses than any specific new rule. In fact, the codice fiscale requirement has been there for some time, so it is possible that some store personnel know a way around that for tourists and others do not, but that is just my speculation. I also had success with my own purchase (at the same store referenced by I_Heart), but that was over two years ago and is not relevant to this new concern.

San Jose, California
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6. Re: 2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

A few weeks ago, I brought some visiting friends to my local TIM store and had no issues getting them a TIM SIM for their unlocked phone. There was a line there of perhaps 3 other tourists waiting to get one as well (2 from US and one from Netherlands). Tourists are given a temporary codices fiscal by the TIM store personnel once they provide their passport and address of where they are staying info. Lots of paperwork to sign, but no problems what so ever.

7. Re: 2 1/2 wks in Italy - Another SIM card question

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Removed on: 22 August 2013, 07:16