Mobile phones are very popular in Italy, that is why there are many mobile phone networks in Italy. Let’s discover the best ones.
A study by Pew Research Center says that in 2019, in Italy, 71% of citizens have a smartphone, 20% have a mobile phone that is not a smartphone, while only 8% do not own a smartphone.
According to the 2018 Digital Report conducted by We Are Social, in Italy, unique users of mobile phones are 83% of the entire population. That is why Italy is in third place in the world immediately after South Korea and Hong Kong.
Once you’re in Italy, you may want to keep in touch with your family and friends at home and also to make local calls, for example to book and hotel or reserve a restaurant.
There are not many public telephones around anymore, so the best thing you can do is to rent a phone or buy an Italy sim card. LINK
The benefit is that you can call at low calling rates. Many tourists also buy a cheap cell phone and a pay-as-you-go SIM cards from a mobile phone provider, which is a good and inexpensive option.
Main Cell Phone Companies in Italy
There are many providers in Italy, and you must be aware that phone coverage may be irregular in some rural areas of Italy and smaller towns. But as long as you travel to the main cities such as Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, everything is fine.
Since there are many companies, we suggest you ask the locals which company has the best reception in the area.
Anyway, the leading companies in Italy are:
TIM: the most popular cell phone provider with excellent coverage all around the country and affordable plans. Many operators rely on the TIM network to provide their services
Vodafone: it is a well-known provider in Italy and many other European countries. So if you are planning to travel across Europe, this may be a good choice.
Wind: This is a cell phone company that makes very cheap offers in Italy, and it has decent coverage.
Tre: This provider became part of Wind Tre S.p.A. on December 31, 2016. But despite this corporate merger, the 3 Italia brand continues to be active as a distinct brand from the Wind brand.
Brand 3 belongs to the Hong Kong multinational CK Hutchison, which also operates in Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Hong Kong, and Indonesia.
It always has terrific monthly deals.
In general, for all these companies. It is is easy to buy credit online or in tobacco stores (Tabaccai) or supermarkets.
There are also other minor providers such as Poste Mobile, Fastweb, CoopVoce. Still, TIM, Vodafone, Tre, and Wind are the most reliable and the most present in the territory, so it will be easy to find a branded store near a Train Station or even at the Airport.
Please be aware that GSM cellular phones from North America must be tri-band to work in Italy. They must be able to function on the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies.
How to make a call
Before leaving your country or if you are using a mobile SIM from abroad you need to dial the “foreign call code”.
So if you are willing to phone Italy from other countries to contact a travel agency or your hotel, follow these instructions.
First, you have to dial the “foreign call code” (generally it’s 00 for Italy or + if you are using a mobile code), after that, dial the international country code of Italy which is 39 (+39), then, if you are calling a mobile number you can dial the number, but if you are calling a landline number, you have to dial the city code plus the phone number.
It should be something like:
00 39 06 123456… (For a phone call to Rome in Italy)
For local calls, it’s always necessary to dial the city code even if you’re in the same city you are calling.
Additional area codes are for example:
- 02 for Milan
- 081 for Naples
- 041 for Venice
- 011 for Turin
- 055 for Florence
If you want to phone from Italy to other countries and you are using an Italian SIM, you must follow these instructions: dial the “exit code” which is always 00 or +, then the country code of the person you are calling, the city code followed by the phone number.
If you have a problem, you may need to call
Emergency numbers in Italy
The emergency numbers in Italy for police, fire, and other safety issues is 112
So you can dial 112 to call the police, report a fire, or call for an ambulance anywhere in Italy. It works anywhere in Europe, too.
Here you can find other Italian national emergency numbers:
- 112 – Carabinieri (national police)
- 113 – Local police
- 115 – Fire department
- 117 – Finance police
- 118 – Medical emergencies
- 1515 – Forest fires
Here you can find more information on Italy Communications Systems