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Sim card for Italy (and maybe Turkey too)?

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We are travelling for 6 weeks in Italy and Turkey in Sept/Oct and I would like to use my mobile phone for emergencies but global roaming is just too expensive.

Has anyone used the Australian Travelsim - it looks like a good service with low call rates but costs $49.95 to purchase initially.

Would it be better/cheaper to buy a local sim card in Italy and again in Turkey?

I don't plan to use it a lot - we have a netbook and can skype home all we want - but we are travelling with a group of friends and it's good to be able to be in touch if we get separated - and it's comforting to have a phone when you are driving a hire car in a strange place too...

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