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Cell Phone in Italy with US number

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I have read several good posts on Fodor's about cell phones, international travel, and SIM cards, however.....

My cell phone does not have the ability to work overseas, so that will not be an option. I know pay-as-you-go cell phones can be bought in Italy when I land, however I was wondering if I can buy the pay-as-you-go cell phone in the US (so that the phone has a US phone number) and then buy the SIM card while in Italy which will work on the European networks.

Just not sure if this will work and if I am suppose to buy the minutes in the US or if I am required to buy the minutes in Italy when I purchase the SIM card.

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