When visiting Italy, coming from outside Europe, it is easier to use a local sim. It is also more affordable than roaming. At the airport, you can buy a Vodafone tourist sim, for 25 euro including 5-gigabyte internet and free YouTube and Facebook.
Especially when you spent one month in Europe this sim is ideal for tourist. The sim can only be purchased by tourist and you have to show your passport for registration.
The registration and load will be done by the salesperson, for everything is in Italian. That is the downside of this sim.
It might be useful to download the Vodafone Italy app, this will show how much internet you have left off your 5 gigabytes. But again the app is in Italian, so it is a bit hard to navigate and not very tourist friendly.
The unlimited data will serve you all through your holiday and Vodafone has good coverage everywhere in the cities in Italy and even in the countryside, it is pretty fast.
Although I must say in Rome I was disappointed with the speed provided. But cities like Florence, Pisa, Milano, Venice, great coverage and good 4G speed.
Vodafone is in Europe one of the top providers so when you travel outside of Italy with the new European rules on roaming you can use the sim as well. Please do be aware that non-European Union countries do not have this roaming agreement and your data will go really fast. You better switch off most of your background apps and updates When you travel through such a country.
There is a downside for this sim, however. Apart from everything being in Italian and therefore not being very tourist friendly. you can not update your load outside Italy. They tell you it is possible but it will not work, not even when you put the load in Italy on the sim.
It might work if you put a lot of load on the sim, like 50 euros, I did not try that, for the salesperson advised me otherwise. I uploaded 10 euro on the advice of the Vodafone employee and the day my promo expired, Vodafone booked more than the available load from the sim, leaving me with 3 euro debts and no internet access unless I uploaded it. Which I could not do from the Netherland.
The same happened to my travel companion, he had 9 euro left in the sim and he threw the blocked sim out with a negative balance of 6 euros. Bit weird. Where did the money go that we loaded to the sim?
So my advice is not to use it beyond the expiration date, better by a new local sim when you travel through Europe and your Italian sim has expired.
Vodafone Italy is a separate company from f.e. Vodafone in the Netherlands and therefore uploading your sim at another Vodafone branch simply doesn’t work.
The good of this sim:
fast reliable internet
upload and downloadability
free social media usage, so your data is really for other stuff and therefore pretty much unlimited
usable outside Italy since Vodafone has European Network coverage
your phone number is registered with Vodafone Italy and every Vodafone shop can help you if you have any questions or want to upgrade
The bad of the sim:
you cannot upload it outside Italy
roaming in non-European Europe countries like Switzerland is very expensive
all messages you receive are in Italian and the app is in Italian as well
all information on this website is free
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.