In September I will be returning to Italy and taking a bike tour from Bolzano through Lake Garda and on to Venice. I began thinking about my cell phone. I had used all the credits and in the past had to renew through recharge my sim. de but alas they are no longer in business. So lets look at your options. TIM has a very simple plan called TIM FOR VISITORS. Google the link and click on the English Flag to change language. it is not a bad deal. For 30 Euro you get 4 GIG data, and 100 min of talk. You can purchase the voucher in the US an bring it to any TIM store. I used the one at Fiumicino, Leonardo da Vinci, Rome;s main airport. It took less than 15 minutes to get me up and running and have the attendant set up my phone. You can purchase the voucher using your US credit card.
OK, now it is time to take about recharging your card. You can go through your minutes quickly and until recently you could not recharge your sim with an foreign credit card. First go to https://www.tim.it
You will get the Italian language screen, best thing is to use Google Chrome or install the translate extension in Safari. Right click and you will get the English language translation. Keep in mind TEXT MESSAGES ARE NOT FREE. You can use iMessage or other apps that will allow you to text for free on the data. Also consider installing Skype for calls back to the US. I have had excellent results with Skype.
ITALIAN, Ricaica means recharge.
English translation. Click recharge after you use pull down to select amount.
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE BOX MARKED FOREIGN CREDIT CARD
At the bottom, you can select the receive email notification. It will come to your email account of choice. There os also a box to insert a TEXT which will be sent to your cell to confirm all is working.
Here is my email confirmation.
Ti confermiamo la presa in carico dell’ordine nº xxxxxxxxx del 08/04/2018 23:07:16
Numero: xxxxxxxxx Data e ora: 08/04/2018 23:07:16
Metodo di pagamento utilizzato: CDC
Costo a pagare: 10.00 Euro
Importo ricarica: 10.00 Euro
Numero ricaricato: 339xxxxxxx
N.B. La ricarica sara’ immediatamente resa disponibile come credito telefonico e comunque non oltre le 48 ore dal momento della richiesta.
Ti ricordiamo che sul sito tim.it puoi attivare altre offerte o servizi, acquistare prodotti e Ricaricare. Inoltre, accedendo alla sezione MyTIM Mobile del sito potrai:
verificare il tuo credito residuo
verificare lo stato delle offerte attive sulla tua linea
modificare il tuo profilo tariffario
consultare lo stato dei tuoi acquisti online
There are other options, Vodafone has a similar plan. Google Vodafone Holiday for information.
Keep in mind none of the plans have everything you may need. You need an unlocked cell phone with GSM capabilities. You will always need your passport when purchasing from a Tim or Vodafone store.