Phonecards

Old Mar 25th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Phonecards

Would anyone know where I can purchase phone cards once I'm in Italy. Someone mentioned it's a great way to make calls home. Would one go to a pharmacy, tobacconist, where?
Thanks
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Old Mar 25th, 2003, 10:33 AM
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Tobaconists or newsstands.
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Old Mar 25th, 2003, 10:40 AM
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They're ubiquitous, more or less just as they are here in America. At a newsstand, many large and some small grocery stores, tobacco shops (which often might be called newsstands) and more. Pharmacies in Europe frequently do not the "Rite-Aid" kind of store where you can buy everything from panthose to beef jerky. Sometimes very clinical places with JUST medications and "illness" products; or you will also see places that have a spectrum of "health and beauty aids" with an emphasis more on soaps and perfumes and lotions and the like; those kinds of boutiques are big on herbal and botanical products and far less "makeup" per se (I am probably making a "typical-guy" gross mis-characterization of what such shops sell!)

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Mar 25th, 2003, 10:41 AM
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...whoops... pharmacies do not RESSEMBLE...
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Old Mar 25th, 2003, 10:44 AM
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I was thinking about renting a cell phone with international service, but that looks rather costly. Can someone give a little summary of what types of cards are available, what range of costs, etc? Thanks.
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Old Mar 25th, 2003, 10:49 AM
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rex
 
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A whole bunch of useful ideas here:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=34407859

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Mar 25th, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Yes. I'm interested in this too. I'd like to buy a card that allows me to call back to the US AND within Europe. Can such a thing be had? I was thinking about buying a phone card here and taking it with me, but some things I've seen recently have almost convinced me it's better to wait until I'm there to get one.

Thanks a bunch,
Jennie
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Old Mar 25th, 2003, 10:59 AM
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I was in Italy in Oct. 2002 and purchased a phone card at a tabachi shop in Venice. It was 5 euro from Planet Communications. We asked for a card that would allow calls to US and Europe. It was a great investment. I called home often and still had some time left over. Really handy!
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Old Mar 25th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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The phone cards in Italy are called "Euro Cards". You can get them at the Tabacchi (tobacco) or newstands. You can buy $5 or $10 cards. They work great and the instructions are written on the card. We called from our hotel rooms. They were simple and cheap. We called all the way back to Seattle and the connections were clear. The only way to call home. No Problem!
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 07:03 AM
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We will need to make a phone call from the airport to our hotel to arrange for shuttle pick up. Will we have to buy a $5.00 phone card for one phone call from a public pay phone? Do none of the phones accept coins? And if not can you buy cards at the airport?
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 07:07 AM
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A few telephones stilla ccept coins. you should fine at least one at the airport. One thought: Malpensa airport is about one hour from Milano, you will have to spend some time at the airport waiting for the shuttle.
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 08:39 AM
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Actually, we are staying at the Hotel Cervo which I understand is only about 10 minutes from the airport. (hope my information is correct.)
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 05:43 PM
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Just a clarification on the $5 phone card. Your minutes don't expire until you use them all up. Therefore, you can make several phone calls until your minutes are used up. However, I don't know if they work for local calls in Italy.
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Old Mar 27th, 2003, 01:52 AM
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In Italy you can buy two kinds of phone cards.
The most commonly used by Italians are Telecom Italian phone cards, ranging from 5 to 20 euro. These cards are easier to use (you just have to pull off a corner and insert them on public phones), but they require a public phone on the street (can't be used wit oyour hotel room's phone) and may be more ctly for phoning abroad.
The other type is the so-called international card. These come from a wide range of small service providers and are the choice of immigrants for calling back home, as they offer lower prices for calling abroad. Yet, not all these cards offer the same prices, most of them varying the price of the call depending on the country (so that X card offers a very low price for Russia, while Y card offers rather high prices for calling Russia, but very low prices for calling Tunisia); moreover, these cards are not as easy to use, since you have to go through a pretty difficult process of dialling numbers and waiting to be put through (electronically, there's no operator ^_^), yet they can be used from any telephone.
International cards such as these cannot be used on the local network, so that you should have to either use a Telecom italia card or to look for a telephone that accepts coins. Both Telecom Italia and international cards can be used to exaustion of your credit.
I suggest yo to check out the prices for calls to the United States, since I fear that the Telecom Itlia prices might be the lowest, than chose the card that suits more your needs.
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