Planning your trip to Italy and wondering what is the best way to stay connected? Avoid high roaming charges and slow overseas data roaming plans. Get yourself either a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Italy or order an e-sim card on the internet. This is a complete guide for finding the best sim card for your trip to Italy in 2024.

Find out where to buy a prepaid sim card in Italy, a comparison of the mobile internet providers, the best 4G/5G network, the best e-sim cards for Italy, up to date prices as per July 2024, my recommendation, information about international prepaid sim cards and everything else you need to know.

Whenever I am planing my next trip the first thing I do is figuring out how to stay connected. In the past I always used to buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival in every country, nowadays I mostly use e-sim cards.

One of the main reasons I started this travel blog was to document all my travel tips and help other travelers save money and that is how I started writing sim card guides for every country I visited.

As Traveltomtom is aiming to travel to every country in the world I regularly get to a lot of new places and therefore on Traveltomtom you can find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Europe, USA, Costa Rica, South Africa, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Canada, Colombia, Thailand, Egypt, Israel, Dubai, New York, Bali, Philippines, China, Australia and many more.

Traveltomtom also wrote a specific e-sim card guide for Italy with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for traveling to Italy in 2024.

Therefore when planning your next adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your holiday destination. Bookmark me and let me help you save money.

Buying a prepaid sim card in Italy is 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 new local prepaid sim card with and a working data connection on your phone.

Sounds easy, but if your phone is e-sim compatible you can arrange all of this in just a couple clicks and as soon as the plane lands you are already online.

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 in 2024.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends travelers to get a sim card from TIM or Iliad. Iliad stores are much harder to locate in Italy. TIM offers a prepaid sim card for tourists for €20 EUR ($22 USD) with 40 GB data and they have a great 4G/5G network in Italy. A TIM prepaid sim card includes free (limited) EU data roaming.

Of course does Traveltomtom also recommend e-sim cards for traveling to Italy. In fact e-sim cards are the easiest way to stay connected as you arrange everything on the internet. There are already Italy e-sim cards for just $1 USD.

Traveltomtom's favorite e-sim providers are SimOptions and Airalo, but there is also Holafly, Jetpac, Nomad and many others. For more detailed info check out Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sim cards for Italy in 2024 including all FAQ about using e-sim cards.

Another great option for staying connected when traveling is a so called world travel sim card with global coverage. There are some amazing sim card deals for traveling in Italy. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2024 and pick the one that suits your trip the best.

Best e-sim cards for Italy

The most convenient and easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Italy in 2024 is an e-sim card. No more visiting a sim card store and swapping physical sim cards. You arrange everything online in just a couple clicks.

The whole process takes just a few minutes and can be done from anywhere in the world.

You order an e-sim card for Italy on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Italy e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in Italy it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Italy.

Below you will find a selection of great e-sims for Italy or click here to read Traveltomtom's guide with everything you need to know before buying an e-sim card for Italy in 2024, including a comparison of other e-sim brands like Jetpac, Holafly, Nomad, etc.

Reminder that on international airports in Italy you can NOT buy an e-sim card. On airports in Italy they only provide physical prepaid sim cards for tourists and as of July 2024 this is still up to date.

In a few phone stores of Vodafone and TIM you can opt for an e-sim card, but not all. Therefore if you want an e-sim card then Traveltomtom recommends ordering one on the internet before your trip.

Airalo

Airalo is a reliable e-sim provider and Traveltomtom has used Airalo in more than 50 countries around the world. Check out the following Italy e-sim card deals from Airalo for 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $8 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $14.5 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $24 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $33 USD

Click here to order an e-sim card for Italy directly online via Airalo.

Definitely check out the Airalo website as they often have ongoing promotion. Just recently they had 50% off on all their Italy e-sim card plans.

The above data-only Italy e-sim cards from Mamma Mia are only valid in Italy and do not support calling and texting. They operate on the 4G/LTE networks of Vodafone and WindTre as well on the 5G network of TIM. That means the Airalo e-sims for Italy are 5G ready.

SimOptions

SimOptions is another e-sim card provider that has e-sim cards from all over the world. SimOptions sells international e-sim cards valid in all of Europe, including Italy. These international e-sim cards also support calling and texting all over Europe and in fact are the best e-sim card deals for traveling to Italy in 2024.

  • 10 GB data-only (5G ready) for 30 days = $22.90 USD
  • 20 GB data + unlimited calls for 15 days = $23.90 USD
  • 12 GB data + 30 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $29.90 USD
  • 30 GB data + unlimited calls for 30 days = $44.90 USD
  • 30 GB data + 120 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $49.90 USD
  • 60 GB data + unlimited calls for 30 days = $51.90 USD
  • 100 GB data (5G ready) + 120 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $59.90 USD

Click here to order an international e-sim card for Italy via SimOptions.

In my opinion these are the best tourist sim card for traveling to Italy in 2024 as they also support incoming and outgoing calls. The and Airalo e-sims are data-only e-sim cards, just like Jetpac and Nomad, two other e-sim providers. Then there is also Holafly which sells e-sims for Italy with unlimited data.

For more e-sim card plans and much more detailed information check out Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Italy in 2024.

Before ordering an e-sim card for Italy make sure your phone is e-sim compatible. 

If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you have to order a physical prepaid sim card for Italy on the internet. SimOptions is the only provider that sells physical international prepaid sim cards for Italy. For $24.90 USD you get a sim card delivered at your home address with 10 GB data and unlimited calls/sms in Europe. Check out the physical prepaid sim cards for Italy offered by SimOptions.

Why buying a sim card in Italy

Everyone is dreaming about that romantic road trip in Italy! The food, the people, the coastline, the rolling hills, the gorgeous landscapes and the cheap Italian wines and data plans on prepaid sim cards. When traveling to Italy you want to share your romantic getaway with the world and buying a sim card for Italy is the best way to avoid high roaming costs and staying connected.

Having data on your phone when when traveling abroad makes life 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, nearby friends, whatever.

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 EUR if you buy a prepaid sim card in Italy.

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!

Where to buy a sim card for Italy

Phone stores

Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card for Italy in the city center at an official retail store of one of the mobile internet providers in Italy and NOT at the international airport on arrival in Italy. Locate the nearest phone store near your hotel simply by using Google Maps.

International Airport on arrival

Although the airport is the most convenient place to buy a sim card for Italy, prices for these tourist sim cards are also a tourist trap, especially at Milan Airport and Venice Airport. Prices for Italy tourist sim cards at Rome Airport are much more reasonable. 

Every tourist destination in Italy 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 for Italy.

Online

Another option is to buy your sim card for Italy online before your trip. This way you arrive prepared and as soon as the plane lands you are online. There are some amazing e-sim card deals and some even start from just $1 USD. You can arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. No more visiting a phone store in Italy or getting ripped off in the sim card shops at the airport.

Traveltomtom favorite e-sim resellers are SimOptions and Airalo, but the competition is fierce and also Nomad, Jetpac and Holafly have e-sim card deals for tourists. For more info check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Italy in 2024.

If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you want to look into ordering a physical sim card for Italy via SimOptions.

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. 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 Italy 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. This also counts for international and e-sim cards. In general phones from Europe, Asia and Australia are unlocked. Phones from the Americas are mostly locked.

If you want to avoid the registration process for some reason then look into ordering an e-sim card for traveling to Italy on the internet. You don't need an ID-verification to activate e-sim cards, only an email address.

Italy sim cards and EU data 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 Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona onwards you can use your voice, text and data allowance at no extra costs. Basically there are no roaming costs within the EU. However, always check with your provider as most operators in Italy limit the EU data roaming allowance on prepaid sim cards for tourists.

For more info about free EU roaming read my guide for buying a prepaid sim card in Europe on arrival.

Mobile internet operators Italy

There are 4 different mobile internet providers in Italy:

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

In 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 and tourist sim cards give you a lot of data for little money.

Prices prepaid sim card Italy in 2024

Now let's look at the most important thing for Italy sim cards: the prices of prepaid sim cards plans and data bundles. All the info below info is updated per July 2024. Check out the below prepaid sim card deals for tourists in Italy. Prices are in Euros. $1 USD = €0.93 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.07 USD.

Tim Italy prepaid sim card

tim italy prepaid sim card plans for tourists 2024

Tim Italy offers a tourist prepaid sim card for Italy:

  • 100 GB data + unlimited calling + 100 minutes abroad for 30 days = €14.99 EUR - ($16 USD)

The above sim card deal is exclusive €10 EUR ($11 USD) activation costs.

There is 16 GB data available for EU data roaming and these TIM tourist sim cards are 5G ready with data speed up to 2 Gbps!

TIM offers e-sim cards for tourists, in their official retail phone stores you can get an TIM tourist plan as an e-sim card. Traveltomtom readers have reported that in reality they often run out of e-sims and only have physical prepaid sim cards available.

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

Windtre Italy

windtre italy prepaid sim card plans for tourists 2024

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

  • 70 GB data (15 GB EU data roaming) + unlimited calling + 100 international minutes for 30 days = €14.99 EUR - ($16 USD)
  • 200 GB data (27 GB EU data roaming) + unlimited calling + 100 international minutes for 30 days = €24.99 EUR - ($27 USD)

The Windtre prepaid sim cards for tourists are 5G ready and Windtre does NOT charge activation costs. Windtre does NOT offer e-sim cards for tourists on prepaid sim card plans, only physical prepaid sim cards are offered in Windtre phone stores.

Great offer, that personally would be one of my preferred sim card deal for Italy in 2024. For more info check this WindTre webiste.

Vodafone Italy 

vodafone italy sim card for tourists 2024

Vodafone Italy offers only one prepaid sim card for tourists:

  • 30 GB data (15 GB in EU) + Unlimited social media + 600 minutes in all Europe - valid for 30 days = €24.99 EUR - ($27 USD)

This Vodafone prepaid sim card is 5G ready and you can also get this tourist sim card as an e-sim card. For more info check the Vodafone Italy website.

Iliad Italy

iliad italy prepaid sim card plans for tourists 2024

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 EUR ($11 USD for the registration fee and they offer the following prepaid sim card data deals:

  • 150 GB data (9 GB EU roaming) + unlimited minutes/sms in Europe, USA and 60 other countries for 1 month = €7.99 EUR - ($9 USD)
  • 200 GB data (11 GB EU roaming) + unlimited minutes/sms in Europe, USA and 60 other countries for 1 month = €9.99 EUR - ($11 USD)
  • 250 GB data (13 GB EU data roaming) + unlimited minutes/sms in Europe, USA and 60 other countries for 1 month = €11.99 EUR - ($13 USD)

Be aware that there is an EU data cap outside Italy. Therefore I would not recommend an Iliad prepaid sim card for traveling in Europe. For more info check the Iliad website. Sucks that they limit the data usage in Europe, otherwise it would even be one of the best prepaid sim cards in Europe.

The iliad sim card deals with 200 and 250 GB data offers 5G, the Fladh 150 sim card deal only offers a max data speed of 4G/LTE. Iliad does NOT offer e-sim cards for tourists on prepaid plans as of July 2024.

Based on all the previous Italy prepaid sim card deals we have seen it is an easy comparison that iliad offers the best prepaid sim card deal in Italy in 2024. However, there is a little catch as iliad users have reported to have been charged consecutive months after their Italy holiday. Therefore when buying an iliad sim card in Italy, always make sure that you buy a prepaid sim card and there are NO recurring payments after one month. The best would be to pay in cash and not leave your credit card details with iliad.

Some things that seem to good to be true, sometimes are, so be careful and double check in the iliad store when buying a sim card for Italy!

Best 4G/5G network in Italy in 2024

Not only the prices for prepaid sim cards and data packages are important for determining the best sim card for Italy. Traveltomtom also compared the mobile internet coverage maps of Vodafone, Wind Tre, iliad and TIM in order to find out which mobile internet proivder has the best 4G/5G network in Italy.

Is there 5G in Italy?

Yes, there is 5G in Italy and as of 2024 it is pretty good and wide spread. Pretty much all the tourist destination have either a 4G/LTE signal or even a 5G signal availabel.

Let's have a look at the mobile internet coverage maps for Italy.

Tim 4G/5G network coverage

tim 4g 5g network coverage map italy 2024

Vodafone 4G/5G network coverage

vodafone 4g 5g network coverage map italy 2024

Windtre 4G/5G network coverage

wind tre 4g 5g network coverage map italy 2024

Iliad 4G/5G network coverage

iliad 4g 5g network coverage map italy 2024

Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Italy in 2024.

It is a simple conclusion that TIM has the smallest 5G network in Italy. 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 always find a phone signal regardless your network operator.

Planning a trip to Sardinia? Then you want to buy a Vodafone or Windtre Italy sim card as they have much better network coverage in Sardinia then iliad and Tim.

From the above comparison it leaves no doubt that Windtre has the best 4G/5G network in Italy in 2024.

Best sim card for Italy in 2024

The cheapest way to get connected when traveling to Italy is an e-sim card. On top of that an e-sim card is also the easiest way to stay connected as you arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. For already $4.5 USD you get 1 GB data for traveling in Italy. Especially for people that don't need much data on their phone when traveling to Italy an e-sim card is the best and cheapest option to stay connected in Italy.

cheapest esim card for italy 2024

There are also e-sim cards with much bigger data plans. These plans are very convenient to buy online, but more expensive than a local prepaid sim card in Italy.

Looking for more info about Italy e-sim card plans then read my complete guide for buying an e-sim card for traveling to Italy in 2024 with all my tips about using e-sims for traveling, including answers to all FAQ about using e-sims.

However, buying a prepaid sim card in Italy gives you much more value for money and for already €15 EUR ($16 USD) you can get a sim card with 70 GB data.

Iliad has the best prepaid sim card deals for tourists as for around €18 EUR ($20 USD) you get 150 GB data. But this sim card plan is not 5G ready and only 4G/LTE is supported.

The catch is that an iliad store is harder to find and for example in Rome city center there are only a few, compared to TIM, Vodafone and Windtre which you can find all over the city center. As of July 2024 I have never seen an Iliad kiosk at any international airport in Italy.

As said before Traveltomtom readers have reported that they were charged recurring payments from iliad on their credit card after their Italy holiday. Therefore when buying an iliad sim card in Italy, always make sure it is a prepaid sim card with a one time payment or pay cash.

If Italy is one of the stops on a trip to Europe then Traveltomtom recommends a TIM or WindTre Italy tourist sim card. They offer around 15 GB free EU data roaming on their prepaid sim cards for tourists.

However, you can find better Europe sim card deals online, check the link to see my comparison of the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2024.

Order a prepaid sim card for Italy online

international prepaid sim card for italy

If your phone is not e-sim compatible but you would like to order a sim card for traveling to Italy online before your trip then check out the following.

Arrive prepared in Italy with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Italy, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Italy:

1. O2 Go Card - $24.90

  • 10 GB data
  • $2 calling credit (no top-up)
  • valid for 30 days
  • valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

2. Three Data Pack - $24.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 56 countries
  • 4G/LTE

3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days
  • Valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

4. Bouygues Telecom - $44.90

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 47 countries
  • 4G/LTE

5. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days
  • Valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

Click here for more info or to order an international prepaid sim card for traveling in Italy via SimOptions.

Personally I can recommend the Orange Holiday Europe sim card for traveling in Europe. I have used it multiple times and never had a problem. Nowadays I use the e-sim card version of this sim card for traveling in Europe.

Also a last reminder that there are amazing e-sim card deals for traveling to Italy available online. If your phone is e-sim compatible then you should definitely check it out as you can arrange everything online and no need to visit a sim card shop on arrival in Italy.

There are already e-sim cards from just $4.5 USD but you can also get e-sim cards for traveling to Italy with 50 GB data. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Italy via AiraloSimOptionsNomad, Holafly or Jetpac.

For more detailed info including an answer to all FAQ about using e-sim cards when traveling to Italy check out Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sim cards for Italy in 2024.

I am sure some of the above tips for staying connected in Italy, my tips about Italy e-sim cards and buying a prepaid sim card in Italy were useful for your upcoming trip to Italy.

If you have any questions please leave me a comment below, I am more than happy to assist you with any travel tips for Italy as well.

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 July 2024 I have been to more than 155 countries, but no rush to reach 197.

Enjoy your trip to Italy!

Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Italy are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you.