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Prepaid SIM card for Italy: Where to Buy in 2024?

Find the best internet options for your time in Italy by our run down of the best international data SIM cards for Italy

Leoneska R.

January 1, 2024

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If you’re planning to visit Italy soon, it’s time you think about an internet connection. No traveler wants to be left unconnected in a foreign country, but paying for internet from your current provider is very expensive. But now we can say bye to high international roaming prices with an Italy SIM card. In this article, we’ll explain how a SIM card works and how much it costs.

You can buy a SIM card for Italy without leaving home, but you will always have to wait for it to be sent to your location. The solution to this situation and others is the new virtual SIM card for Italy which, in addition to keeping you connected on your trip, you can receive instantly after your purchase.

SIM virtual for Italy

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Where can I buy a SIM card for Italy?

As we told you at the beginning of this article, today, you can buy your prepaid SIM card for Italy in many ways, even before your trip starts! This is thanks to the great advances that telecommunications have had in the last years.

If we add how the world market has moved to virtual shopping, we have as a result, many online stores that offer these international SIM cards for almost any destination. This gives us an alternative to the traditional process of buying a SIM card for Italy once you are in the country. 

Tourist in Italy. Source: Unsplash.

So if we plan to travel to Italy, what SIM card options do we have as tourists? for most travelers, there are two ways to buy them. To these two, in recent years has been added a third one, known as the virtual SIM card, the evolution of the physical SIM card, and that brings with it more benefits. As a visitor, you can:

  • Use an online store to buy your prepaid SIM card before your trip and have internet in Italy as soon as you arrive. 
  • Wait to arrive in Italy, look for a physical store of one of the local operators, and buy your SIM card for tourists with one of them. 
  • The best way to have unlimited data in Italy, buy an eSIM Italy from Holafly for this destination.

(You may also be interested in the best SIM card for Croatia or in the German eSIM with unlimited data)

Buy before you travel.

This option, besides being our recommendation, is the most used way by travelers from all over the world. Buying a prepaid SIM card before your trip allows you to save time during your visit to Italy. Buying SIM cards online is usually easy as these providers focus directly on tourists. In addition, there are more offers from online providers, and the local telephone companies in Italy are more reduced. There are many possibilities, but it is also important to take into account some characteristics.

It is easy to find options for online stores, but something important to know is that you will have internet in Italy once you activate the SIM card. To anticipate this, you should check which local operator you will be connected to with the prepaid SIM card you are buying.

Always try to choose the one that allows you to access the most important telephone networks because this will affect both your connection speed and coverage throughout the country. Another point to take into account is how long it may take the online store to deliver your SIM card. If you don’t have it before your trip, you will be wasting time.

A solution to these situations is the virtual SIM card for Italy that Holafly offers, details of which will be given later. 

Pros of buying a data plan for abroad before traveling

In either case, whether you choose the physical or virtual SIM card, if you are buying it before your trip, you will have benefits such as:

  • Internet from start to finish

With a pre-purchased SIM card, you’ll connect to the internet the moment you land in Italy. You can set up the SIM card before your flight and then activate it on your cell phone when you arrive. So you’ll be able to order a cab or let your family know you’re safe.

This gives you the peace of mind to make the most of your trip. You don’t need to spend hours searching for a cell phone store. Just activate your data plan and start exploring.

  • Data in multiple countries

Are you traveling to other countries in Europe? Well, with a Europe eSIM card from Holafly, you’ll be able to connect to the internet in several other European countries, including Spain, Germany, and France – and there are no additional fees. For destinations outside the coverage, such as the United Kingdom, Holafly unlimited data eSIM plans available in the UK are the alternative

  • An easy installation process

There are no complicated contracts to sign or long technical instructions to wade through. Just insert your SIM card by following the easy set-up instructions, turn on data roaming once you land in Italy, and you will be connected instantly.

(You may also be interested in the best SIM for Jersey)

Buy your tourist SIM card in Italy

This would be the most common way to buy your SIM card for Italy if you are considering spending a long time in the country. We say this because the local phone companies are more focused on national customers than on visitors. Anyway, there are some SIM cards for tourist options from the major operators in Italy. You can read below about some of the local companies and their available plans. 

WindTre 

Formally known as Wind Italy and Tre is perhaps the biggest competitor of the well-known TIM in Italy. WindTre offers a unique plan aimed exclusively at visitors. This plan includes 20GB of data to be used in 30 days and adds 100 minutes for calls to local numbers and 100 minutes for international numbers. You also have the possibility of using 13.7 GB of browsing in other countries of the European Union. You must go to a physical store, buy a SIM card and request the activation of this plan to use it. It is important to know that this plan will not be automatically renewed after 30 days.

TIM Italy

This company is traditionally the telecommunications giant in Italy. They also offer a data plan only focused on visitors. This TIM SIM card for tourists includes 50 GB of surfing to use in 30 days and 200 minutes to call Italian and international numbers. It also includes 14GB for use in other European Union countries. This option of a TIM SIM card for Italy has the advantage of being renewable as long as you have enough credit. In case of not renewing, it can not be activated again for the same SIM card. In order to use this service, you must go to one of the TIM stores throughout the country, buy a SIM card and request it.

Vodafone Italy 

The well-known European company also has a franchise in Italy with data plans for visitors. Vodafone Italy has a Holiday plan for tourists in the country, which includes 2GB of navigation to be used in four weeks. Also included are 300 minutes and messages to Italian numbers and numbers from your home country. You will be connected to a 4G network, and the plan will automatically renew if you have enough credit on the SIM card. You can also cancel the plan before the end of the usage period by calling the customer service number. In case you run out of GB, you can top up with one of the other Vodafone Italy plans.

How much does a prepaid SIM card for internet in Italy cost?

Telecommunication in Italy is dominated by the companies with the longest tradition in the country. In case you buy your Italy SIM card for tourists with one of the local operators, you can expect to pay between 20$ and 40$ depending on the package you choose. You have to keep in mind that in any of the cases you choose, you must go through the SIM card registration required by the local laws.

Also, in most cases, you must request the activation of the plan in a physical store, so you will not be able to pre-purchase it. If you do not want to go through these cumbersome tasks once you are in the country, you can take a look at the solution below, known as a virtual SIM card or simply eSIM.

Holafly eSIM for Italy: a great alternative.

eSIM for Italy
Holafly eSIM with unlimited data in Italy and international phone number.

Holafly’s online store offers digital SIM cards for Italy and many other destinations worldwide with an easy purchase and installation process. These eSIM cards are the best alternative for many travelers because of their ability to be activated in minutes from anywhere in the world.

To buy an Italy eSIM, you must go to Holafly’s official website and select the data package you want for Italy. After that, you make the payment by any available means, and you will receive your virtual SIM card through a QR code to your email.

This is by far the best option of all, from the plans’ flexibility to their global reach. As long as your phone is compatible, the best way to access the internet in Italy and any other destination is through Holalfy’s virtual SIM card. Also, remember that you will be close to Switzerland, so if you happen to take a trip there, Holafly offers you one of the best eSIM for Switzerland.

If you still want more information about this excellent alternative, here are some of its advantages and disadvantages

Advantages and disadvantages of Virtual SIM cards

Advantages

  • Fast solution.

If you want to enjoy all the benefits of a physical SIM and also have immediate delivery, you should definitely count on Holafly’s digital SIM cards. From purchase to activation will not take more than a couple of minutes. Remember that you must have an internet connection for the whole process.

This is an excellent advantage if you travel to other destinations; you can have a top-rated eSIM card if you visit Spain.

  • Keep your WhatsApp number.

With a Holafly eSIM card, you can keep your current WhatsApp number alongside all your contacts and conversations. So, sending photos of your adventures to loved ones back home is easy.

  • Unlimited data on any plan

No matter which plans you choose for the virtual SIM card that Holafly offers in Italy, in all usage periods, you will enjoy unlimited data and 500 MB daily for data sharing. Also, if you decide to travel to other countries, eSIM Europe will provide you with unlimited data plans, too!

  • 24-hour customer service

eSIM cards usually work effectively, but if you experience any problems, you can count on 24-hour customer support from Holafly. They’ll help you with any issues, no matter how small.

  • 120 Minutes talk-time

A new feature that’s been recently introduced is that minutes have been included along with data. You’ll be able to make outbound calls and receive inbound calls. Both options have a total of 60 minutes included. You can make calls from all over Europe, except for Iceland, Norway, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Turkey.

Disadvantages 

  • You must confirm the compatibility 

Please note that unless your phone is eSIM compatible, you cannot use eSIM. It is more common in the latest generation phones. If you are uncertain if yours supports eSIMs, you can check Holafly’s list of compatible phones.

How much does the virtual SIM card for Italy cost?

Let’s take a look at how much you pay for a Holafly eSIM:

Days of useAmount of mobile dataPrice (USD)
5 daysUnlimited data with calls$19
7 daysUnlimited data with calls$27
10 daysUnlimited data with calls$34
15 daysUnlimited data with calls$47
20 daysUnlimited data with calls$54
30 daysUnlimited data with calls$64
60 daysUnlimited data with calls$87
90 daysUnlimited data with calls$99
Table N° 1. eSIM card tariffs with data for Holafly’s Italy eSIM.

Frequently Asked Questions about a SIM card for Italy

How else can I connect to the internet in Italy?

You can activate data roaming and use data from your current provider, but this will be very expensive. If you use this option, expect a hefty phone bill when you return home. Alternatively, you could buy Pocket Wi-Fi (a portable device that generates WiFi for your phone). This option is also expensive, and you’ll have to carry the device everywhere. A SIM card for Italy is the cheapest and most convenient way of connecting to the internet.

How much does data roaming cost in Italy?

The price of data roaming in Italy varies between providers. But you can expect to pay $7-$15 per MB. So if you wanted to watch a movie on Netflix, you could be charged $100. That’s why we recommend buying a SIM card for Italy instead. You will not face additional roaming charges in Italy if you are an EU citizen.

How to choose a SIM card for Italy?

You should choose a SIM card that offers you a fast internet connection at a low price. With no additional prices, Holafly’s digital SIM card for Italy is the best option. In addition to offering internet from one of Italy’s fastest providers, they offer 24/7 tech support for any problems you encounter.

What if my SIM card doesn’t work?

If you buy your Italy eSIM from Holafly, you can contact their customer support team 24/7. In the unlikely event that the SIM doesn’t work, they’ll solve the problem for you. All eSIM cards come with set-up instructions. This also works for other eSIMs from the company, such as the Holafly eSIM for Israel travel.