Best way to call home from Italy

Aug 28th, 2001, 09:36 PM
  #1  
Alex
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Best way to call home from Italy

I'm planning to go to Rome and Florence next month for 2 weeks. During the stay, I have to check my messages at home in San Francisco. Does anybody know the least expensive way to make calls from those cities in Italy? Should I buy a locally sold telephone card?
 
Aug 29th, 2001, 08:07 AM
  #2  
KC
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When we were recently in Italy, we purchased international phone cards there. The ones that we used can be used from any phone because there is a toll-free number that you call, and then you type in the pin number (which was on the back of the card). We found them to be cost effective.
 
Aug 29th, 2001, 08:56 AM
  #3  
Russell
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If you can buy a locally sold telephone calling card that will allow you to call back to the states for less than 17 cents per minute, by all means do so. Otherwise, you may want to check out the calling cards available at Cognigen, which are, from a quick reading, at that rate:

http://cognigen.net/cognicall/?joemast
 
Aug 29th, 2001, 04:13 PM
  #4  
claire
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We used locally purchased phone cards exclusively. Sometimes you had to search for a working phone, but we always found one. We encountered two types of international phone cards in Italy: the one with a PIN number as was described in another post, and one where you bend off one corner of the card & insert it in the phone. Both worked fine.
 
Aug 29th, 2001, 07:22 PM
  #5  
Betsy
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Hi Alex, I live in the Bay Area too.

A lot of people like the local telephone cards. I've also heard that the cards sold at Costco are a great buy for making international phone calls from Europe.

Buon viaggio
 
Aug 30th, 2001, 12:18 PM
  #6  
jenn
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I got the 480 minute card at costco.When you use it to call the US from Switz, Italy or France, it is 50 cents a minute. Sprint customer service told me that means that I'll only get 40 minutes total on the card. Not what I hoped for but it was only $20.
 
Aug 31st, 2001, 10:49 AM
  #7  
Barbara
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I bought prepaid international AT&T calling cards from Sav-On & couldn't get them to work while in Italy. When I got back to the States, I tried to use them locally at pay phones & they still didn't work. When I called AT&T customer service, they told me that the card numbers weren't valid & to return them to where I had purchased them from. What a waste of time. I ended up buying local calling cards while in Italy. They sell them at the currency exchange places. They were inexpensive and most importantly, they worked!!
 
Aug 31st, 2001, 11:30 AM
  #8  
pam
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When I was in Rome and Italy in July I had rented an AT &T phone for oversees.
While less cost effective than the phone cards, it was enormously useful and worked wonderfully well.
It cost about $80.00 for the week plus the calls. I had a problem one night only and called the service number.
When I came home I found a delightful letter informing me that due to the problem I experienced, I was NOT going to be charged for the use of the phone that week.
Nice, huh?
No, I do NOT work for AT &T.
 
Aug 31st, 2001, 11:31 AM
  #9  
pam
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Posted before I re-read.
Sorry.
Post should read "when I was in Rome and Florence".
As we all know (I hope), Rome is in Italy.
 
Aug 31st, 2001, 11:32 AM
  #10  
elaine
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this is a pretty basic question, but be patient with me. I've never used a prepaid calling card anywhere, I use my
TTI calling card which seems to have very low rates every time I've used it. Are prepaid calling cards in any country really offering lower per-minute rates, or is it just a matter of having a pre-paid designated
maximum to help you budget your calling
charges?
 
Sep 1st, 2001, 12:04 PM
  #11  
Jose R.
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Hi: I do not use any card. I just put some coins and dial, the screen discount the time. I do not now if cards is more chiper, but I find fast and inexpensive without cards. Salute
 
Sep 1st, 2001, 01:26 PM
  #12  
Russell
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Please note the calling card noted above. With rare exception, most other ways of calling the US will cost several times more per minute.
 
Sep 1st, 2001, 06:14 PM
  #13  
TexasJaz
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I took my calling card that I have used all over the US with me last summer to Italy. It did not work. When I talked to the front desk at my hotel in Rome I was told "This card no good, poohy." I was told to go one of the tobacco shops and buy a perpaid calling card there. Some of the people in our group did that and said it was very economical. I ended up using a phone at a Internet Cafe--cost varied between 7 & 10 cents a min. I thought that was wonderful. They had little boothes for each phone, not real private, but sometimes the place was empty. Either works well, but there is not reason to think that anything bought in the US is going to work in Italy.
 
Sep 2nd, 2001, 03:46 AM
  #14  
Sherry
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Elaine, to help maybe answer your question. Pre-paid phone cards purchased in the States cost so much per unit. We like to say for instance .05 per minute. But it is actually easier when using them in a foreign country to think of the cost as a unit. Usually internationally, it takes more than one unit of a calling card to place a call from let us say Italy to the U.S. If you call a card's customer service number, you can find out exactly how much from a particular country. I remember someone posted here once what the cost of a call with a card purchased abroad was per minute for a call to the States from one of the countries. Now I cannot remember which country he quoted. And I really have no idea how he determined the cost unless the cards purchased in a country also have a customer service number that will give you that information. People like them because no long distance calls are waiting for them when they return home. Also, they are very easy to use. But if it is more economical than your TTI card, who knows? Using my long distance server's calling card along with an international service plan costs me only about .17 per minute in Italy and France. Pretty reasonable and it is very easy to use. Of course the plan costs me a service fee per month. Does this help for reasoning?
 
Sep 2nd, 2001, 04:44 AM
  #15  
xxxx
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Best way to call home from Italy is the local calling cards you can By thm in any tobbaco shop You see a big red letter T onve the shops doors they come in 2500 lira 5000 lira and higher they cost about 17 cents a minute it is the fast & eazy to use witout dialing a hunderd diffrent numbers you get the card break off one corner insert in the public pay phones and dial us access code 01 area code and number be sure never to use the hotel phones they are a rip off only use tele talia pay phone and the phone card are collectors items and cheap gifts for people check out( e bay ) people trade the cards the 2500 lira phone card will cost 1.75 american you can make 4-5 calls to check your messages and if you have a toll save on your answering machine even more CIAO!
 
Sep 2nd, 2001, 08:15 AM
  #16  
Gail
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In Italy last May I bought an Italian PIN card (mentioned in a post above) at a newsstand. They sell for L5,000, L10,000, and L20,000. It's their international telephone card, NOT the card that you break off the corner and insert into the phone. This one has a scratch-off PIN number. You dial the toll-free number, punch in your PIN and SUPPOSEDLY talk. My connection was horrible! There was no way to have a conversation as there were so many breaks in the connection. I tried it numerous times, but the connection was never clear. Maybe it was just my location (Venice, Cortona) since others above seem to have had no problems!

I have used AT&T and Sprint pre-paid cards without a hitch, and I have used the Italian phone card (where you break off the corner) for Italy calls, but didn't realize these could be used for international calls (well, duh).

So....is the consensus that the Italian break-off-the-corner phone card is cheaper than U.S pre-paid phone cards for international calls? Need this info for my next trip!

Thanks for expert Fodorite advice!!
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 03:04 AM
  #17  
ttt
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ttt
 

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