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?