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Wireless internet connection in Italy.

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Oct 12th, 2009, 03:06 PM
  #1
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Wireless internet connection in Italy.

Internet connection in Italy.
I saw a comment by jaxbeach saying “Looking for free wi-fi? To solve the problem, we travel with my laptop, purchased a TIM usb that can be used repeatedly in Italy, purchased 30 days of restricted time (there are other less expensive, short term options, as well), and we surf the net or confirm our reservations, etc, from the hotel room. Works every single time!

I’d be interested to know where this was purchased, and what it costs. We’ll be in Venice, if that makes any difference.

Thanks

Peter
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Oct 12th, 2009, 03:10 PM
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ttt - me too peter.

when are you going back to Venice?

are you going for a long period like last time?

regards, ann
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Oct 12th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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Ann,
It's ages away. November next year, for about seven weeks. We're taking Lou's mother (my mother in law) with us for a couple of weeks. She went to Venice a few years ago as part of an “OK, it’s Monday, so this must be Rome” kind of tour. We’re looking forward to showing “our Venice” to her, and she and Lou will take a trip to Assisi and Florence for a few days as well.

She’s a lass of 83, so will get some good exercise prancing over the bridges.

Cheers

Peter
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Oct 12th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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It looks like as cheap as 3€ (for a small amount of time - 3 hours) plus the device (chiavetta?).
http://www.tim.it/consumer/c56088/i5...lo2standard.do

I would assume you could buy it at the TIM store in Termini or any TIM store.
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Oct 12th, 2009, 11:18 PM
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Hello - I'm calm once again, really enjoying other Italy posts this time around.

When we got to Roma Termini (not sure about DaVinci airport), the TIM store is on the center upper level at the escalator. You can purchase a TIM usb connection (we got ours for 99euro but we keep it forever, so the initial expense is worth it). Our 30 day cost is 25 euro, with restricted use Mon-Fri 5pm to 9am the next morning, gratis on Sat & Sun until 9am Monday again. But if you're there for a short amount of time, there is a 10euro charge or a 20 euro charge, depending on your wants.

We live in our apartment (Scalea, Calabria) twice a year, 30 days each. That's why we stick with the first option. Then we return on our next 30 day stay, head right to the TIM store and re-charge the sim chip. You'll need your passport when you make your purchase. We bought the usb connector at Euronics (if you're American, it's like a teensy Best Buy with housewares also available)- maybe they have better prices, maybe you can find something online?? Not certain about that...

Note: the TIM connection is called Alice (ahleechay) - you can't necessarily re-charge at a regular TIM store, the sign needs to include Alice. We found that out through trial and error.

hope this helps. Let me know if you need any more info.
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Oct 12th, 2009, 11:23 PM
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Another important factor to add: TIM is Italian. If you travel throughout Europe periodically, I suggest you research vodafone ... that company might allow you to wander from country to country without losing anything. Just a suggestion.

We use our internet connection on the trains, another great advantage when we arrive or depart, just as long as we connect before 9am!!
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Oct 12th, 2009, 11:38 PM
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Unless you are in very small towns, I think you will have no problem finding WiFi in Italy, really. I wouldn't see the point in paying 99 Euros for a USB dongle unless like jaxbeach_fl you are in Italy two months out of the year. Most hotels have it at least in the lobby. I'm on my laptop a lot when I travel, believe me, and I managed just fine in Italy.

Venice recently introduced its "Venice-Connected" service which is an attempt at a wireless cloud of sorts - though it certainly doesn't cover the whole city. But while poking around for open WiFi in Venice, I saw the "Venice-Connected" SSID several times (not at my apartment unfortunately). I didn't use it, because honestly it was baffling ahead of time trying to figure out how I'd sign up. It may have been as easy as connecting, getting a page that asked for an account, and signing up with a credit card.

WiFi in Venice is also free at McDonalds - they give you the code if you buy something and ask for it, I guess - I saw others doing that but for whatever reason, I couldn't explain to the woman I'd purchased my soda from that I needed the code. I asked her how the WiFi worked and she shrugged and said, "It just works." I used an open WiFi network from McDonalds instead, worked fine.
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Oct 13th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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Andrew, I beg to differ. I spent a total of 8 weeks in Umbria a couple of years ago and nearly went mad trying to find a place where I could get an internet connection. Yes, I was in small towns. A lot of people go to Italy and stay in small towns. I had to drive every single day all over the place to find a place where I could connect, and the opening times of the places I located were utterly capricious - some closed on Mondays, some on Sundays and Mondays, some were just closed whenever they felt like it, or for 4 hours in the middle of the day. Some had only two machines that were always in use. I spent a great part of my vacation trying to get on line (I run a business, so had to do that). I would gladly have paid 99 euro to ensure a connection.

I wasn't at a hotel. I was at an agriturismo - lots and lots of people traveling to Italy choose that option over a hotel.

Maybe technology has improved since my visit, but jaxbeach's option sure sounds good to me after my last experience.

I never saw a McDonalds the entire time I was there.
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Oct 13th, 2009, 08:35 AM
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As I said: if you aren't in small towns... At least one person mentioned Venice.

Certainly if you will stay in a small place in a small town without internet and you run a business you can justify spending 99 euros on a USB dongle for your laptop.

Obviously you can simply ask your hosts at the places you will stay about internet options before you book a place. If they tell you there they offer no internet option and you need it, buy the USB thing. I'm guessing that isn't most people's situation, though.
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Oct 13th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Peter

If you go to the Venice Connected site, you'll find information about getting onto the wireless "cloud". The trick seems to be knowing whether the area you'll be staying in, will be under that cloud! I'll be interested in your success, to help me in March.

I know a restaurant near my apartment in Cannaregio offers Wifi, but I'd guess they would want more than a smile and buongiorno from me ... I mean I'd have to buy food or drink. ;-)
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Oct 13th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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Yvonne, that would mean that there might now be four prices for a coffee.
At the bar.
At a table.
On the terrace.
With Wi Fi.

Oh, the complexity of it all!
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Oct 14th, 2009, 02:24 PM
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peter, I saw a hotel [in venice] that wanted €50 extra for a week's wifi connection.

there is seemingly no limit to the ways in which the enterprising will find ways to rip off travellers.
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Oct 14th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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Ann,
I'm surprised that withkidstravelling, who was less than amused by all of Italy, did not complain about that one!
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Oct 15th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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StCirq,

I, too, have a business that I run between US and Italy. My husband and I tried for a few years to find those internet wi-fi places in rome, venice, pescara, among other towns, and we experienced every one of your problems. It made us slightly buggy. There was a very accommodating internet point across from our roma hotel, but it got a tad pricey for my business and personal needs in just one week.

I just assumed that Peter was planning on a lengthy stay and wanted a connection whenever he felt like accessing the internet.

We are gearing up for lengthier stays in our Calabria apartment - the 99 euro expense was a godsend for us! That price is low today - my original pc card for TIM was 250 euro just two years ago.

Andrew has a valid point: if you're in a large city, go with the free locations, but I don't think mickey d is my idea of a place to concentrate on business... sometimes I just can't tune out the surrounding noises.
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Oct 24th, 2009, 01:46 AM
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another quick update: we just spent two days in roma before returning stateside... went to mickey d's for free wi-fi, unable to connect. The staff at the counter, although very nice, were unable to help, and the manager was definitely overworked! Even with our TIM connector, we couldn't get online, too much steel and rebar in the hotel to get a decent connection. Nothing is perfect!! But roma was great, as always.
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Oct 24th, 2009, 08:04 AM
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hi peter,

thinking about jaxbeach's excperience in rome, I took my new blackberry to Barcelona - its first trip abroad - and had no trouble connecting at all, either via orange or free wi-fi.

how am i likely to get on in Rome?

how's the venice trip planning getting on? [sigh!]

regards, ann
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Oct 24th, 2009, 09:32 AM
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My Blackberry works everywhere - in the Mara Massai in Africa, in the boondocks in India, everywhere in Europe. It's never failed me anywhere. It's a totally different story with the laptop and wifi, though, and using the Blackberry to send and receive files (which I must do when traveling) isn't my idea of technology put to its best use.
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Oct 24th, 2009, 10:00 AM
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hi St. Cirq,

I agree about the lmitations of the balckberry to sending and receiveing files, but for messaging it's excellent.

thanks for the info about where you've used yours - Rome should be a breeze then!

regards, ann
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Oct 24th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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FYI, I never actually used McDonalds WiFi in Italy. In Venice I sat at the McDonalds, connected to their WiFi, but I didn't get the login/password, so I disconnected. I later figured out you have to ask for a login/password - but there was another open WiFi network that I just used instead.

In Paris, the McDonalds did not require you to get a login/password to use their WiFi - just click "I agree" (in French) and you are on.

I routinely sit and work at a Starbucks in the US, so the noise at a McDonalds doesn't really bother me. As a bonus, I can sip on a fountain diet coke - hard to get elsewhere in Italy! (I don't like diet coke out of bottles or cans.)
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Oct 25th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Hi Ann,
The trip is coming together, but it’s a long way off. Leaving Melbourne on 19 November 2010, (yep, that’s 12 months away) and returning about 8th January, so we’ll have seven weeks. The apartment is booked!

I’m re-reading Morris, and perusing Bert4545’s threads on Fodors in preparation. Along with “We visited Venice and we saw..” from your good self.

We’ll be looking for a house sitter for our inner urban house in Melb.
Cheers
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