Everyone is dreaming about a romantic road trip in Italy! The food, the people, the coastline, the rolling hills, the landscapes and the cheap Italy data sim cards. When traveling to Italy you want to share your romantic getaway with the world and buying a sim card in Italy is the best way to avoid high roaming costs. In this article I will show you where you can get an Italy sim card, why you should get one, how much it costs, the best 4G/5G network in Italy, tell you about free EU roaming, e-sim cards for Italy and even help you to order an Italy sim card online.

This article is updated with the latest info and prices as per January 2022.

Whenever I get to a new country the first thing I do is buying a local sim card with data to avoid extremely high roaming costs. Buying a prepaid sim card in Italy is very easy and also very affordable. All you need to do is locate a store of your preferred provider, hop into their shop, bring your passport and 5 minutes later you walk away with a ton of data on your new local sim card.

Forget about slow overseas data bundles, when planning a trip to Italy getting a local sim card should on your things to do list.

Flying into one of the main an international airports in Italy? Click on the links for a detailed guide for buying a sim card at the airports of Milan, Venice or Rome. Are you traveling onwards to other countries in Europe then you might wanna look into the best sim cards for a Europe trip or have a look at my complete guide for buying a local sim card in Europe. In this last article you can find all my tips and tricks and I specify the best prepaid sim card for tourists per EU country.

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My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends travelers to get a sim card from TIM or Iliad. Iliad has limited data roaming in Europe and their stores are much harder to locate. TIM offers a prepaid sim card for €20 with 40 GB data, they have a great network in Italy and they provide free EU roaming.

If you want to make it very easy for yourself than consider an e-sim card for Italy so you don't even have to swap physical sim cards anymore. More info below or check the link.

Why buying a sim card in Italy

First and foremost reason is to stay connected when abroad as it makes traveling so much easier. I can come up with a ton of reasons, but simply ordering a taxi through an app, finding a restaurant, phone number, rooftop bar, whatever. No need to tell you that internet simply makes life so much more convenient. Second, Italy sim cards are CHEAP! Why get an expensive overseas roaming bundle that limits your data speed when you can get 3 GB data for €1 with an Italy sim card?

Also keep in mind that surfing the web on public WiFi is through an unsecured network. The use of a VPN is recommended in these cases. Just don't rely on WiFi in Italy is my recommendation!

If you are considering to buy an international sim card then please read my global sim card comparison. I researched all of the international sim cards available and I can already tell you that most of them are a SCAM, meaning that prices are insane! Prices for data roaming on international sim cards are insanely expensive compared to local sim cards. Still curious? Click on the link to read the complete guide for international sim cards.

Where to buy a sim card for Italy

tim italy shop

Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card in the city and NOT at the airport on arrival in Italy. I totally understand that the airport is the most convenient place to buy a sim card, but prices for Italy sim cards are a tourist trap at Milan Airport and at Venice Airport. Click on the link to read my sim card guides for those airports.

May you fly to Rome then I recommend you to buy a sim card at Rome Airport, as prices are moderate compared to what stores in the city offer. Click on the link to read my complete guide.

Every Italy tourist destination has multiple mobile phone shops, just find them on Google Maps. Go to the store, bring your passport and get yourself a local prepaid sim card.

Registration process

When buying a sim card in Italy you will have to bring a valid photo ID or your passport. The sim card will be registered on your name and passport number, that is it. In the store they will take a copy of your passport or you can send them an email with a photo of your passport.

Most important when buying a sim card in abroad is that your phone needs to be unlocked. Foreign sim cards only work in unlocked phones! If you are not sure if your phone is unlocked then contact your provider in your home country.

Italy sim cards and EU roaming

Good news is that all the prepaid sim card in Italy allow FREE EU roaming. That means that if you buy a sim card in Rome and travel to Frankfurt, Germany onwards, you can use your voice, text and data allowance in Germany as well. Basically there are no roaming costs within the EU. However, always check with your provider as some operators in Italy limit they EU data roaming allowance.

E-sim cards for Italy

The most convenient way to stay connected in 2022 is an e-sim card for Italy. In short: you order an e-sim card online, receive a code, you enter this code on your mobile and you will get access to a network provider in Italy. The whole process takes just a couple minutes and can be done from anywhere in the world. No need to physically swap sim cards. Check out the following Italy e-sim card deals:

  • $4.50 = 1 GB data for 7 days
  • $7 = 3 GB data for 30 days
  • $10.50 = 5 GB data for 30 days
  • $16 = 10 GB data for 30 days

You can order one of the above e-sim cards for Italy directly through this link or find more info about it.

Want to order a physical sim card for traveling in Europe online and get it shipped to your home address? Simoptions is a website specialized in sim cards for travelers. They offer more than a handful Italy sim cards for tourists. Click on the link or the banner below for more info. For $30 you get 12 GB and unlimited calls/sms in Europe.

europe sim card orange 728x90

Mobile internet operators Italy

There are 4 different mobile internet providers in Italy:

  • Vodafone
  • Windtre (former Wind &3)
  • Tim
  • iliad

Since March 2020 Wind and 3 Italy joined forces and became WINDTRE. Iliad is a fairly new mobile internet operator in Italy. More providers, means more competition, means cheaper prices! Prices for data sim cards in Italy are heaven!

Prices prepaid sim card Italy in 2022

Now let's look at the most important thing for Italy sim cards: the prices of prepaid sim cards and data bundles. All the info below info is updated per January 2022 and unfortunately prepaid sim cards for tourists are very limited in Italy nowadays. Most providers offers 1 prepaid sim card deal for non residents, apart from one great prepaid sim card deal!

Tim Italy prepaid sim card

tim italy sim card for tourists

Tim Italy offers a tourist prepaid sim card for Italy:

  • €20 = 15 GB data (14 GB EU roaming) + 200 minutes (including some non-EU countries)

This Tim Italy tourist prepaid sim card is valid for 30 days. For more info check the TIM Italy website.

Windtre Italy

windtre italy sim card for tourists

This provider is a merge of Wind and 3, the mobile internet provider from the UK. Since March 2020 they are operating under the new name: Windtre. They offer the following prepaid sim card deal for tourists in Italy:

  • €24.99 = 20 GB data + 100 minutes in Italy and 100 international minutes*

*EU data roaming is NOT included!

When buying a sim card in Italy this is NOT the one I would recommend. For more info check this WindTre tourist sim offer!

Vodafone Italy 

vodafone italy sim card for tourists

Vodafone Italy offers only one prepaid sim card for tourists.

  • €24.99 = 30 GB data (15 GB in EU) + Unlimited social media + 600 minutes in all Europe - valid for 30 days

For more info check the Vodafone Italy website. Pretty good deal for those looking for simplicity and transparency.

Iliad Italy

iliad italy prepaid sim card

Iliad Italy is a relatively new company (2018) and they do not have that many stores around Italy. Buying an Iliad prepaid sim card cost €9.99 (registration fee) and they offer the following prepaid sim card data deals:

  • €7.99 = 80 GB data in Italy + Unlimited minutes/sms in Europe, USA, Canada, etc. - valid for 1 month.
  • €9.99 = 120 GB data in Italy + Unlimited minutes/sms in Europe, USA, Canada, etc. - valid for 1 month.

Be aware that there is an EU data cap outside Italy of 7 GB! Therefore I would not recommend an Iliad prepaid sim card for a trip to Europe, but for traveling in Italy Iliad is the best value for money sim card deal in Italy. For the latest Iliad prepaid sim card deals check the Iliad website.

All in all of course a great deal, especially when traveling to the standard tourist destinations in Italy. The Iliad network covers all the major tourist destinations in Italy. Sucks that they limit the data usage in Europe, otherwise it would even be one of the best prepaid sim cards in Europe.

Best 5G network in Italy in 2022

Not only the prices and data packages are important for determining the best sim card for Italy. I also had a look at the mobile network. How is the 4G coverage and which mobile internet provider has the best 4G/5G network in Italy?

Is there 5G in Italy?

Yes, there is 5G in Italy however, it is very limited to the big cities. The Italy 5G network is poor compared to other countries in Europe. As you can see in the mobile internet coverage maps for Italy below below updated per January 2022, Vodafone, TIM and Iliad have 5G, but by far the best 5G network in Italy is Windtre.

Tim 4G/5G network coverage

tim italy 4g 5g network coverage map

Vodafone 4G/5G network coverage

vodafone italy 4g 5g network coverage map

Windtre 4G/5G network coverage

windtre 4g 5g network coverage map

Iliad 4G/5G network coverage

iliad 4g 5g network coverage map

What you can see from the above data is that all operators provide excellent 4G coverage throughout the country. However, the 5G network is pretty limited. Most important for tourists is that all Italy tourist destinations have great network coverage! Even when traveling off the beaten path in Italy you will find a phone signal regardless your network operator.

Planning a trip to Sardinia? Then you want to buy a Vodafone Italy sim card for sure, see the above maps! :)

Best sim card in Italy in 2022

Unfortunately the prepaid sim card deals in Italy are very limited! Vodafone, Tim and Windtre all offer only 1 Italy prepaid sim card deal for tourists.

The best sim card in Italy for tourists is an Iliad sim card by far! They offer the best value for money and cover every tourist destination in Italy with a 4G signal. However, Iliad stores and resellers are hard to find around Italy. As of January 2022 I have never seen a Iliad kiosk at any airport in Italy unfortunately.

If you want the best 5G network in Italy then you have to get a Windtre prepaid sim card.

If you are traveling onwards in Europe then Traveltomtom recommends a Vodafone Italy tourist sim card. They offer 30 Gb data + 15 GB free EU roaming on their sim card deals for €24.99. For more Europe sim card deals check this link.

Buy a sim card for Italy online

If you don't want to waste your precious holiday time standing in line for buying an Italy sim card then order one online. On top of the above mentioned Orange sim card for Europe, the following prepaid sim cards are perfect for traveling in Italy:

1. Lycamobile Unlimited Talk Text Data

  • price $23
  • Unlimited data*
  • Unlimited calling + texting

*Lycamobile unlimited data is ONLY 2 GB at 4G/LTE speed and then reduced to 3G speed! They are masters in sales, not performance! 3G speed is awful.

2. TravSIM European SIM Card

  • price $21.99
  • 6 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • Unlimited sms in Europe

3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 8 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

4. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 5 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

5. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

6. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

My recommendation if you want to order a sim card for Italy online is Orange Holiday Europe sim card. You can order them directly through the Simoptions website, as well as all the other above sim cards. They have sim cards for traveling in every country in Europe for sale. The sim card will be send to your home address and you simply put it in your phone on arrival. The data packages are already activated!

Also another reminder that there are amazing e-sim card deals for Italy available online:

  • $4.5 USD = 1 GB data for 7 days
  • $7 USD = 3 GB data for 30 days
  • $10.5 USD = 5 GB data for 30 days
  • $16 USD = 10 GB data for 30 days

These so called Mamma Mia e-sim cards operate on the Vodafone and Wind mobile networks. Click here for more info or to order your Italy e-sim card directly.

I hope the above tips for buying a prepaid sim card in Italy are useful for your upcoming trip. May you have any questions please leave me a comment below, Im more than happy to assist you!

Also for some Italy travel inspiration or to check out my road to visit every country in the world I can recommend you to take a quick look at my Instagram account @traveltomtom. As of January 2022 I have been to more than 120 countries.

Enjoy your trip to Italy!

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