How to set up internet, landlines, and mobile phones in Italy

phones and Internet
Updated 2023-04-23 12:07

Now that you live in Italy, you probably need to stay in touch with your family, friends and the world around you. Nowadays, you can get internet, landline and mobile phone access from a single provider. All-inclusive packages are convenient and affordable, but you can also choose a provider by type of service. This article looks at the different issues related to communication methods in Italy.

Good to know:

To subscribe to the internet, be connected to the fixed telephone network or buy a local SIM card in Italy, you will need to present your 'codice fiscale' (tax code) and a residential address.

Connecting to the Internet in Italy

Italy was one of the first countries in Europe to be connected to the Internet. Internet access is widely available in the form of broadband, wireless and fibre optic connections. Dial-up, cable and ADSL are also widely used in small villages and towns.

There are many Internet providers to choose from in Italy, but Telecom Italia (TIM) is the most popular. Other popular Internet providers include Wind TreIliadVodafoneTiscali, Fastweb and Eolo.

You can sign up online, although it is best to visit a local branch to discuss Internet packages. To get an Internet connection, you need to provide:

  • Your Codice fiscale (tax code)
  • Proof of address/residence

It can take a few days to a few weeks (on average, 20 days) to set up the connection.

What if you don't have a tax code but need the Internet in Italy?

In Italy, it is compulsory to present the Codice Fiscale for the installation of an internet connection at home. Until you receive this document, you can rely on cafés and other outdoor connection points, for example, coworking cafés.

Free Wi-fi points are not as widespread in Italy as elsewhere in Europe, although there are public spaces where people can connect to the Internet for free with their phone or laptop. Find Wi-Fi points near you by clicking here.

A more convenient but expensive alternative is to buy a pay-as-you-go 4G stick. Providers such as Wind Tre, TIM and Vodafone offer this accessory.

Many Italians surf the Internet via their mobile phones thanks to high-speed mobile data packages.

Landlines in Italy

The process of obtaining a landline in Italy is similar to that for an internet connection. Note that Telecom Italia (TIM) is the national telephone company, but you can opt for other providers such as Windtre, Vodafone, Tiscali, Fastweb and Iliad.

Applications for connection can be made online, by telephone or at a local branch. To apply for a landline in Italy, you need to provide the following information:

  • Codice fiscale
  • Address where the line is to be installed
  • Contact number
  • Number of extensions
  • Details of the chosen package
  • Whether you want your number to be visible in the local directory

Once you have registered, a technician will come to your home to make the connection. The time between the connection request and the actual use of your fixed line ranges from a few working days (10 days on average for TIM) to several weeks. You will generally receive a bill every two months unless you have opted for a flat rate, in which case the frequency may differ.

Good to know:

Landline phone numbers in Italy have eight and eleven digits, beginning with 0 and followed by an area code.

To call an international number from Italy, dial 00 and the country code.

To call an Italian landline from outside Italy, dial 00 39 0 and the rest of the telephone number.

To call an Italian number in Italy, dial the area code 0 (usually two or three digits).

Pagine Gialle, the Italian yellow pages, is a particularly useful tool for finding contact details of professionals.

Mobile phones in Italy

If you are planning a long stay in Italy, why not opt for an Italian SIM card? First of all, make sure your mobile phone is compatible with the Italian telecommunication network, or you may have to pay to have it unlocked on the spot.

As in most other countries, you can buy a prepaid SIM card (ricaricabile) or a subscription package (abbonamento), usually valid for a minimum of 24 to 30 months. To buy a prepaid SIM card in Italy, you will need to show an ID card, while contracts require a tax code and address.

Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased online, at provider branches, or at some newsagents (edicola) and grocery shops. The SIM cards are free of charge, while the minimum call credit varies between 5 and 10 euros, plus the activation cost is usually between 5 and 15 euros, depending on the operator. For extra credit, you can buy vouchers in small shops, supermarkets, cash machines, or online. Most providers also offer monthly prepaid packages.

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