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Smart Phone for 4 months in Florence

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Dec 19th, 2013, 07:25 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Smart Phone for 4 months in Florence

I am sure that the experienced folks here must be tired of answering questions about mobile phone usage in Europe, but I was not able to find an answer to my question when I did a search. My daughter will be studying in Florence for the spring semester. Our provider is Verizon and she has an iPhone 4s. Of course, that means that the phone is "locked." We are not worried about her ability to contact home. She will take the phone anyway, turn off the data, and use Viber to contact us when she has a wifi connection. We did this when she was in Turkey and Spain last summer and it was fine.

However, on the ground in Italy she is looking for actual smart phone capabilities. Will she be best served to wait until arrival in Florence and buy a smart phone and a "pay as you go" plan? Or should we buy an unlocked smart phone from ebay and have her buy a card (would that still be a SIM card or is it something else when data is involved?) in Florence? I don't know if it will be especially easy or cheap for a foreigner to buy a smart phone and data plan in Italy, but they are not exactly giving away unlocked smart phones on ebay, either. So, any suggestions are much appreciated!
samsmom1127 is offline  
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Dec 19th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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There is no need to buy a new phone. 4s has gsm capability needed in Italy and can be unlocked by Verizon.https://community.verizonwireless.com/thread/696707 . It is very easy to buy prepaid data in Italy. I try to buy at Telecom Italia TIM booth on secure side of FCO in Terminal 3 since they are much better at giving me what a temporary visitor needs. In March, I got a SIM card and had my passport copied in about 5min. By the time I exited the baggage claim, I was surfing the web.
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Dec 19th, 2013, 10:58 AM
  #3
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Thank you so much for your kind response, greg. This information is very helpful, as is the link you provided to the Verizon community. I have been a customer for years, visited the website, and never noticed. I will pass this on to my daughter so she can cross another thing off her to-do list.

I wish you a joyous holiday season and new year full of happy travels!
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