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Buongiorno! Suppose I step down from the plain in Fiumicino. What is the fastest way to get hold of Italian SIM-card with some talking minutes and some Internet? The latter is more important than the former.

So, my requirements:

  • Good coverage in main cities (Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence)
  • Good for 2 weeks (after that I'm going to leave the country, the SIM is going to lose its value anyway)
  • Good for massive internet usage is in store for maps, orientation, etc.
  • Cheap. :)

Now, I know that there are 3 main communication providers in Italy: Vodafone, Wind and the third one. :) Which one? Which one won't leave me destitute and won't sue me over the border months after for some unknown reasons? What I have to look for?

  • TIM is the third one. There is also 3. And some low-cost operators have recently joined the market. – JoErNanO Jan 19 '15 at 16:27
  • Thank you ) Looks like someone has downvoted me. I wonder, why... – Undespairable Jan 19 '15 at 17:03
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Coverage in Italy is good across all three main operators: TIM Vodafone and Wind. I would suggest Wind for it's value for money. With Wind you can get 100 minutes, 200 sms and 1GB for 10€ + 1€ (activation cost). They call this All Inclusive Ricaricabile. They also have an Internet-only offer giving you 3GB for 9€, which will however expire soon (8th February). See here for more details.

Vodafone recently swiched their pay-as-you-go plans to a senseless rolling contract scheme, forcing you to pay a minimum of 10€ to get a lousy 100MB of internet. TIM too switched to a similar system. Both this carriers however offer internet-only plans, here for Vodafone and here for TIM.

  • Thank you! I also was looking at wind offers, just thought I ought to check it independently. – Undespairable Jan 19 '15 at 17:01
  • Also PosteMobile, you have an option for which you buy "credits" each of which amounts to 1 SMS, 1 Minute or 1 Mega. It's good if you plan on doing all three, but do not know if you will need hundreds of minutes or texts. – laureapresa Mar 11 '15 at 23:34
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The four main providers are: TIM, Vodafone, 3 and WIND.

Generally the provider is required to request your codice fiscale when opening a contract or giving you a prepaid SIM. Some vendors will refuse to give you a SIM if you do not have a codice fiscale, others will take a copy of your passport and simply 'calculate' your codice fiscale (alternative calculator here).

Once you have a SIM, it may take up to 48h for the SIM to be activated (this depends on system loads and vendor - TIM and Vodafone tend to be faster than 3 and WIND).

Regarding coverage you may want to see here and the links therein. Generally Vodafone and TIM have quite good coverage across most of Italy with 3 not far behind. WIND is comparable in the north, but falls back considerably when south of Rome and also is less reliable outside the cities.

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