Keeping in touch while living in Italy

Hello everyone,

What are the best ways you've found for keeping in touch with friends and family back home while living in Italy? How frequently do you stay in touch with loved ones?

Are there local equivalents to common instant messaging and online video calling services that you prefer or are more widely used?

If there is a sizeable time difference, how do you manage this?

Do you make international phone calls from a landline or mobile phone from Italy? What do you think of the cost?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Hi Priscilla,

We moved from the United States to Italy but are originally from Germany. So we are trying to stay in touch with our friends in the US as well as our family in Germany.

We mainly use WhatsApp for quick updates, images or videos and Skype for longer conversations. The fact that both services are free helps a lot.

For phone calls to the US, we found a fantastic and low-cost way. We are using a US based VoIP service. For our private phone calls, we are using Ooma ( For a small fee (basically the local taxes) of only about $5.00 per month, we still have our local US phone number and all calls are still “in” the US and free. Even the international calls, using our US phone, are actually less expensive compared to the regular Italian landline costs. Meaning that we are even using our US phone to make calls to Germany.

We also have a small business in the US that we continue to run from Italy. For the business, we are using a service called “phonebooth” ( We have 2 professional lines/phones for this service with different extensions, voice messaging service, etc. for only $20.00 per month. With this service, we also have a US local phone number and calls made and received within the US are free.


Hello Priscilla,

The best way is whatsapp at the moment. I am in touch daily.

I would prefer whatsapp instead to use for voice and video calling. Also some sims LYCA offer good options for voice calling by depositing 15 Euros a month.

To manage the timing i usually leave message on whatsapp and then i communicate.
I personally use whatsapp as i am connected all the day long. Also as i mentioned LYCA offer is better for my country.



I pay $2.99 / month US for a Skype plan that allows me to call unlimited North American landline and mobile numbers. They have similar plans for many countries.

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