April 23, 2015, 01:52 PM
Prepaid Cell Phone
Can i buy a prepaid cell phone without an Italian tax code? Another forum said you can't buy one in Italy without one. My cell is not unlocked and I can't just put in an italian SIM card. I could try to buy one on Amazon, but have no idea what to look for to make sure it will work in Italy. Does the Italian SIM card also get me service? I am in Italy for 5 weeks and assume I will need a phone at some point. Any advice?
April 24, 2015, 03:05 PM
YES!! You can walk into any electronics store and buy phones even without a carrier, completely unlocked, to then be used with any prepaid SIM card you want to buy. You don't need a "codice fiscale" (CF) or Italian tax ID number to make purchases in Italy!!
Many of the electronics stores will be affiliated with a carrier so will also sell prepaid SIM cards as well but for the carrier they are in partnership with. For the SIM card you do need to show ID, a passport is generally sufficient, I don't recall a CF being required although it is likely requested automatically for registration.
There are many phone shops with the carrier brand outside downtown, almost one on every block - the main ones are TIM, Vodafone, 3 (yes, the brand is simply a number), and Wind. Those smaller stores also carry phones, but usually the latest models and not the cheapest. If you want more choice, I would recommend the electronic stores such as Expert, Euronics or MediaWorld. You say you are in Italy 5 weeks but are you in Florence the whole time? If you are, I can give you some more precise store recommendations, just let me know!
April 24, 2015, 03:25 PM
Thanks Lourdes. I am taking classes at one of the decorative arts studios in Florence, so I will be there the entire time except for side trips to amazing places like Sienna, Assisi. Cinque Terre and some of the Tuscan villages.
My research area is sustainability in theatre design and production and I am looking at traditional Italiante techniques and materials to see if there is a more sustainable option for contemporary theatre scenic artists - hence the classes in Florence.
I would appreciate any suggestions on where to pick up a phone. I am staying the first few days in a monastery on Borgo Pinti and then moving over to an apartment across the river on Seraggli.
April 24, 2015, 04:01 PM
Sounds like you will have a great experience!! I know Florence should be a great base for studying theater design and arts in general.
I would suggest Ganzaroli-Expert on the corner of Via Lanza/Via Madonnone. You can take bus 14 that drops you off one block south of the shop. This more or less has the street down (it isn't exact) but should give you the starting point to map it from where you are (both are in the center and not many large electronics shops are there) - https://goo.gl/maps/XNCch
April 27, 2015, 11:52 PM
Hi, Elzabelle, I have been looking into various ways to have a cell phone in Italy, as well, because my only cell is a work phone, so cannot use it in Europe! In addition to looking into buying a phone or a SIM card, I have found websites where you can rent phones just for the duration of your trip! In case this possibility interests you, here are the two sites I have bookmarked to look into more thoroughly as my departure nears: http://www.cellularabroad.com/gsmrental.php and http://www.cellomobile.com/italy-cellphone-rental.aspx --- they seem practical! Just FYI!