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Data Roaming in Italy: Which One Should I pick?

If you will be traveling to Italy, data roaming in Italy is an option that will always allow you to stay connected to the internet. 

Leoneska Ruiz

October 26, 2023

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Europe is full of beautiful countries that many of us want to visit, and without a doubt, one of these favorite countries tends to be Italy. So if you will soon be traveling to the country of pizzas and pasta, one thing you should not miss is your internet connection while visiting this country. That is why data roaming in Italy is an option that would give you many advantages for always being connected to the internet. 

Also, nowadays, there are a lot of alternatives with which you can maintain an internet connection. So, in addition to roaming, we will talk about options such as eSIM cards, Pocket WiFi, and free Wi-Fi to stay connected while visiting Italy

eSIM for Italy

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What is Roaming?

Roaming is the service your mobile operator offers so that you have coverage outside your country when you travel temporarily either through calls, SMS, or an Internet connection. Roaming allows you to have mobile data outside the coverage of the mobile operator you have contracted in your country.

While this service can provide a lot of comfort because you will be under the service of your operator, it can also have several negative aspects. The main one is that it can be a very expensive alternative, which could be up to almost double what you would spend with a prepaid SIM card during your trip. 

However, the costs and different benefits that you can have by activating your roaming to another country will depend on your local operator. Each one tends to offer different benefits to its users, depending on the plans they have or the country they are traveling to. We will talk more in-depth about roaming services for Italy later on. 

Roaming rates in Italy

We know that one of the most frequently asked questions to make use of the roaming of your operator is, how much will I spend if I activate the roaming? That’s why, if you are thinking about whether or not to activate your roaming for Italy, below we will be talking about some of the most famous operators around the world. We will explain the costs of each one, as well as the benefits they offer to their users. 

However, to give you an overview of the roaming rates in Italy, they can range from daily plans for around 10 dollars. As well as plans with the pay-per-use option, with which you can make use of mobile data, paying between $2 to $3 per MB.  

Boat near an Italian town. Source: Pexels.

T-Mobile

If you are a resident of the United States, it is very likely that you may use the famous operator T-Mobile. So if so, you will be able to make use of international roaming on your trip to Italy. 

T-mobile is mainly in charge of offering different roaming services to their users. Depending on the plan they purchase, users will be able to have various benefits. Currently, they offer three different plans to their customers, the Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus plans.

The Essentials plan is pretty basic, only offering 3G mobile data with unlimited text messages and unlimited phone calls. On the other hand, the Magenta and Magenta Plus plans are premium services, offering 4G mobile data as well as text messages and phone calls.

Telstra Australia

As a second operator, we will talk about one of the most famous operators in Australia, which is Telstra. It allows its users to activate international roaming for Italy in two different ways. 

Firstly, by paying 10 dollars per day, you can opt for the International Roaming Day Pass; they are only compatible with Telstra mobile services on a post-paid plan. With this plan, you can have 500MB of data plus unlimited calls and messages. 

On the other hand, with Telstra, you can also make use of the pay-as-you-go option, which allows you to use the phone services, and you will be charged only for what you use. So if you are good at managing your services, this could be a good option. You will be able to use mobile data for $3 per MB, as well as make calls for $2 per minute, and send messages for $0.75 each. 

Vodafone

If, on the other hand, you are a UK resident, you are probably a Vodafone user. With them, you will be able to connect in Italy at 4G speed, and in addition, the services are also activated for Vatican City. 

On the other hand, this company has the great advantage that many of its users are allowed to use their phone services while traveling to other European countries for free. However, this option is only available to those who have an Xtra Airtime Plan. However, if you don’t have any of those plans, you will have to pay around $2.30 per day to use the service.

AT&T USA

As a last example of operators, we will talk about another one coming from the United States, which is AT&T. This company stands out for not only having branches in the USA but also in other countries such as Mexico. However, we will talk about the costs of roaming to Italy with AT&T USA. 

AT&T only offers two different types of roaming services. The first one is the International Pass which will give access to the roaming Italy service for 10$ a day. On the other hand, if you prefer to make use of the pay-per-use option, you will be able to do so and use mobile data for $2.05 per MB. You can also make calls for $1 per minute, and send messages for $0.5 each. 

How to avoid roaming charges in Italy

Roaming may be an excellent alternative for those people who like to stay connected with their local operators. However, something that is not a lie to anyone and that we have seen is that international roaming can be pretty expensive. 

That’s why we have found the need to tell you about the alternatives with which you can avoid arriving from your trip with high roaming bills. So here we will tell you about four alternatives for staying connected to the internet during your trip to Italy

eSIM for Italy

Unlimited data eSIM for Italy
eSIM with unlimited data in Italy. Source: Holafly.

On the other hand, we find the second alternative, the eSIM. This is a digital SIM card that comes installed in the hardware of mobile phones. So they do not need a physical installation. It is also 90% smaller than a current nano-SIM and is configured using a QR code. 

For this occasion, we would also like to recommend Holafly if you want to purchase your Italy eSIM. Beyond the abovementioned reasons, we must also say that Holafly stands out with its eSIM products because of its advantages. You can choose from more data plan options which also offer 500 MB to share data daily. Such as the following: 

  • Unlimited data for one day at $6
  • Unlimited data for five days at $21
  • Unlimited data for 10 days at $37
  • Unlimited data for 15 days at $51
  • Unlimited data for 20 days at $62
  • Unlimited data for 30 days at $75
  • Unlimited data for 60 days at $107
  • Unlimited data for 90 days at $139

However, before you purchase an eSIM, you should know that they are not compatible with all mobile phones. So we recommend that you verify that yours is compatible with eSIMs. 

If your trip takes you beyond the borders of Italy, we recommend you to use Holafly’s Europe eSIM, with which you will have coverage on the continent for the same price.

Pocket Wifi

A slightly different alternative is the Pocket WiFi. These are devices that you can rent for your trip, whose function is to transmit a network signal to other devices so that they can stay connected to the internet in another country. The positive side of this type of product is that it allows you to connect several devices in the same Pocket WiFi. So it could be an advantage in case you travel with several people. 

Also, there are currently many companies offering this type of service. Some examples of renting a Pocket WiFi for Italy are the companies called Travelers WiFi and Cello Mobile. The first one is located in a European country, and the second one is in the United States. 

However, renting a Pocket WiFi can be pretty expensive. For a week in Italy, prices can range from $75 to $349.99, not considering delivery costs, which can add $5 to $20 to the final price. So if you don’t have a high budget for your trip, this may not be the best option. 

Free WiFi

As a last alternative, we bring you one in which you will not have to pay a single dollar. We are talking about the possibility of connecting to public spaces with free wifi. Although it is the cheapest option of all, it is not the most secure or the most stable. This is mainly because you will have to be close to the wifi hotspot to stay connected. Also, it is not a very secure alternative, since anyone could connect to it, and your private information could be compromised. 

That is why we recommend that if you make use of this alternative, try not to enter any personal data, such as bank passwords, emails, or even applications. However, making use of the free wifi to keep in touch, check maps, or order a cab would be a good option.