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geowhiz1 May 15th, 2009 03:39 PM

cell phones in Italy
My family is traveling to Italy in less than two weeks. We would like to purchase or rent a cellphone to use locally and internationally. Can anyone advice us on the best way to pick one up? Is there any chance of renting or buying at the Rome airport?

curveball2 May 16th, 2009 06:09 AM

I have seen rentals in some USA airports (Atlanta) where you can get a phone to use, return it when you come back. A better/cheaper solution is to get or use a quad band phone (which many usa phones are now) and buy a sim card when you get to Italy. Make sure the phone is unlocked i.e. not tied to a American cell phone company. Some unlock codes are easily available on the internet, some you have to pay to get. Some USA carriers will help you unlock the phone if you have had it for a while. I bought a Vodaphone sim card in Roma Termini station for 10Euros which had 5 Euros of usable time. Popped it into my Motorola Razor and was up and running immediately. I could call in Italy very cheaply and call USA for about 1.00 a minute. You can also send and receive text messages. Recharge cards are available at almost any bar/tabacchi shops. As I understand it, You can NOT get a phone at the Rome airports now due to anti terrorist laws. (sounds dumb I know). When I got home, I just put my ATT sim card back in and was back to normal.

daveesl May 16th, 2009 07:13 AM

Ebay is often a good place to pick up a tri or quad band phone cheap. You can also get SIM cards on eBay.

AmyP22 Jun 23rd, 2009 10:53 AM

If I got a vodaphone sim card at the airport would that screw with all the features on the phone? I'm bringing it for the GPS in addition to calling.

Robespierre Jun 23rd, 2009 10:58 AM

I have some Europe phones that I loan free to Fodorites going there. The only stipulation is that you deposit the fair market value of the phones - I refund it when I get them back. The two I have now have been to Turkey, the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. Email my Yahoo username <b>paristransfers</b>.

Becca001 Jun 23rd, 2009 02:01 PM

geowhiz, are you by chance, a Verizon subscriber?

daveesl Jun 23rd, 2009 03:01 PM

I have recently found that has some very good deals on refurbished tri and quad band phones. I just picked up a Nokia tri for about $30, including shipping.


BarbSG Jun 23rd, 2009 03:48 PM

We got Brightroam. The world cell phone. $28 U.S. plus the charges. We had friends who recommended it. Still to use.

AmyP22 Jun 24th, 2009 07:24 AM

I called my provider to ask about my phone and she unlocked it for me. Mine's a quad band, so I think I'm good to go.

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