cell phone in Italy

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Mar 6th, 2010, 10:55 AM
  #1
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cell phone in Italy

We will be in Italy (Rome and then Pienza, et al) for two weeks and we are looking for the cheapest, easiest way to have a cell phone while there. I had heard something about buying a new SIM card for an existing phone, but I am with Verizon and their phones do not use SIM cards (that i have experienced).

I know there are options for renting, buying a prepaid disposable phone in country, etc... renting one here is probably not a good option b/c we will be gone for another month after Italy and we don't want to be charged for having it in our possession all that time, nor do we want to have to risk losing it by shipping it back. Our next stop is Bosnia and we have already arranged to borrow a phone while there so really we just need to cover these two weeks in Italy.

Any suggestions would be really appreciated!!

thanks,
ET *leaving in 25 days!*
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Mar 6th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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We go to Europe a couple of times a year so we buy our phone, but here's an information website that explains that you can rent a phone at the airport:
http://www.summerinitaly.com/planning/cellphones.asp

It's also a good website to check out strikes in Italy.
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Mar 6th, 2010, 01:44 PM
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etonmymind,
Cheapest is to borrow an unlocked quad band from a friend and get a SIM, see http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/italy.html

Someone who has upgraded to an Iphone or Blackberry will probably give you the old phone just make sure that they call the provider and get the unlock code.

Buying a cheap Italian phone will probanly be about 39 euro including the SIM.

Henry
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Mar 6th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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I have an unlocked GSM phone I used in Italy last fall with an Italian SIM. You're right, you can't use your Verizon phone with GSM in Italy.

Another option you may want to consider: take a netbook or notebook and use Skype to make phone calls. (Of course, you can only use Skype where you can pickup WiFi.) You could put that $60 you'd spend on an Italian phone toward a netbook you could also use to read email and use for future trips or in the states - plus saving off pictures you might take on your trip, as you go. Just a thought.
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Mar 6th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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If you have already arranged to borrow a phone for Bosnia, the I would think you could use that phone in Italy. If the phone has a chip for that country, then take the chip out a purchase a chip for Italy. We buy our chip at the TIM store. Go online and you will see where all the TIM stores are located.
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Mar 7th, 2010, 08:43 AM
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thank you everyone, for your input. This gives me about 200% more information than I had before!

jnjfraz, the Bosnia phone is in Bosnia and there's not really a reliable way for us to get it before we leave for Italy.

Andrew, I hadn't thought of a netbook and now I'm seeing that it may be a very good idea for us. Do you happen to know of any that come with DVD drives? I would love to be able to combine our need for phone, internet access, photo storage, AND DVD (so the kids can watch without having to drag our DVD player with us) into one.

thanks again you guys!
ET
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Mar 7th, 2010, 09:43 AM
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I have a net book that I downloaded my office 2008 to but I had to buy an exterior DVD drive to do so, it was $50; but it was worth it to have Office installed. You to can do this and it's small enough to carry and use with your netbook!
Som
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Mar 7th, 2010, 12:25 PM
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I don't think any netbooks have built-in DVD players, but you can get a portable DVD player, as Sominex says, for about $50. I have an ancient DVD burner that has an external POWER supply, but I think the new ones are small and just run off of USB power. Take a look at them - maybe the combo of the portable player and the netbook would still be small enough to take with?

I didn't take a DVD player (I don't have one of the newer small ones) when I went to Europe last fall. Instead, I "copied" a bunch of movies and TV episodes to my netbook's hard drive. It's a bit complicated to do this until you figure out the software; I wound up finding a trial version of some software that would save video files as MP4 format and play them in Quicktime. Anyway - that was SO much easier than lugging along DVDs and the player! I'm not sure if this would work for you unless you spend the time to figure it out or buy some expensive software. I forget what software I used - it wasn't great, and I wouldn't buy it now, but it was free that week as a trial...
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