Who does not want to go road tripping in Italy right? The food, the people, the coastline, the landscapes and the cheap Italy data sim cards! LOL. Anyway when traveling to Italy you want to share your romantic getaway with the world so here buying a sim card in Italy is the best way to avoid high roaming cost. In this article I will show you where you can get an Italy sim card and how much it costs. If you want to order one online I can also help you.

Whenever I get to a new country the first thing I do is buying a local sim card with data to avoid extremely high roaming costs. Buying a prepaid sim card in Italy is very easy and also affordable. I went to all the mobile internet operators in Italy and researched their shops in Venice, MilanRome and Genoa before coming to a conclusion about the best sim card in Italy for tourists.

Find below the prices, the best network, the available packages, where to get it and much more.

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. Going on a trip around Europe? Click here for the best sim card to travel in Europe.

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Buy a Europe sim card online

You can now also order a sim card for traveling in Europe online and get it shipped to your home address. Simoptions is a website specialized in sim cards for travelers. They offer more than a handful Italy sim cards for tourists. Click on the link or the banner below for more info. For $30 you already get 12 GB and unlimited calls/sms in Europe.

europe sim card orange 728x90

Mobile internet operators Italy

There are 4 different mobile internet providers in Italy:

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

Since March 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!

Free $30 Airbnb credit

In just a couple clicks and 1 minute of your time you can earn $30 for your next trip to Italy. Yes it is that simple! Register a new Airbnb account through this link and instantly get $30 credit. Already got an Airbnb account? Simply register with a new email address!

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Prices prepaid sim card Italy in 2021

Now let's look at the most important thing for Italy sim cards: the prices.

Tim Italy prepaid sim card

With a Tim Italy prepaid sim card you can use a hotspot and all prepaid data packages are valid for 30 days. You can't order a sim card on their website, but you can top-up/recharge online through the TIM website with your credit card. On the TIM Italy website I found the following prepaid sim card offers as per January 2021.

tim italy prepaid sim card 2021

Tim Italy is a pretty good sim card when traveling in Italy as they have the best network coverage and already a 5G network. According to their website you can use 20 GB of the above prepaid sim cards in Europe. If on arrival you see a TIM store, this is not a bad prepaid sim card for Italy to buy.

Windtre Italy

Windtre Italy only offers a large scale of prepaid sim cards for tourists in 2021 in their stores, see below;

wind italy prepaid sim card 2021

You can top up/recharge through the Wind Italy website, but you can NOT order a prepaid sim card online. The usage of data is limited in Europe to only 1/6 of your data package, but Wind is a great data sim card for traveling in Italy. The above offers are up to date as per January 2021. Check their website for the latest offers in the link above.

Vodafone Italy 

Vodafone Italy offers one prepaid sim card for tourists.

  • €30 15 GB data in EU + 500 minutes in Europe - valid for 30 days

vodafone italy prepaid sim card

Vodafone Italy does NOT have any EU data limits so you can use 15 GB in all of Europe! Texting is not included, you can use a hotspot on your Vodafone Italy prepaid sim card and Whatsapp, Messenger and Viber is free. Every additional month costs €10 only and you can easily recharge through the Vodafone Italy website by credit card.

Iliad Italy

Iliad Italy is a relatively new company and they do not have that many stores around Italy. Buying an Iliad prepaid sim card cost €9.99 (registration fee) and they offer the following data package:

  • €9.99 = 70 GB data in Italy + Unlimited minutes/sms in Europe, USA, Canada, etc. - valid for 1 month.

Be aware that there is a data cap outside Italy of 6 GB! Therefore I would not recommend an Iliad prepaid sim card for a trip to Europe. This offer is up to date as per january 2021, for the latest Iliad prepaid sim card deal check the Iliad website.

iliad italy prepaid sim card price 2021

All in all of course a great deal, especially when traveling to the standard tourist destinations in Italy. The Iliad network is not the best but covers all the major destinations in the country. Sucks that they also limit the data usage in Europe.

Best 5G network in Italy in 2021

Not only the prices and data packages are important for determining the best Italy sim card. I also had a look at the mobile network. How is the 4G coverage and which mobile internet provider in Italy has the best network? Is there already 5G available in Italy? Find it out below with network coverage maps updated in January 2021.

Mobile network coverage Tim Italy

tim italy network coverage map

Mobile network coverage Vodafone Italy

vodafone italy network coverage map

Mobile network coverage 3 (Tre) and Wind Italy (they share their network)

wind italy network coverage

Mobile network coverage iliad Italy

iliad italy network coverage map

What you can see from the above data (source nperf.com) is that Tim Italy has the largest network, although Vodafone has a more advanced 4G network.

But most important for tourists: all Italy tourist destinations have great network coverage! Even when traveling off the beaten path in Italy you will find a phone signal regardless your network operator.

But something that is getting more and more important in 2021 is a 5G network. As you can see Vodafone and TIM are rolling it out already, where the other have not started 5G yet.

Planning a trip to Sardinia? Then you want to buy a Vodafone Italy sim card for sure, see the above maps! :)

Where to buy a sim card for Italy in 2021

As soon as you arrive in Italy you will see signs for sim cards everywhere. It starts straight at the airport where they will without a doubt sell prepaid Italy sim cards for tourists. I also did research in the 3 biggest airports in Italy. Click here for buying a sim card at Rome Airport, Venice Airport or Milan Airport.

But I can already tell you that buying a sim card at the airport is not the best idea. Italy sim card deals at airports are not as good as in the city. In any tourist destination in Italy there are multiple mobile phone shops. Go to Google Maps and simply type in the by your preferred Italy mobile internet operator and walk to the nearest shops to buy an Italy tourist sim card.

tim italy shop

What to bring when buying an Italy sim card for tourists

Always make sure you carry a passport on you when buying a sim card for Italy. You can register up to at least 3 Italy sim cards on 1 passport.

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Best sim card in Italy in 2021

When looking at the best sim card in Italy for tourists I would recommend a TIM prepaid sim card as they offer amazing value for money, a great network, 5G and even 20 GB data roaming in Europe.

If you only travel in Italy and you manage to find an Iliad store then that is definitely not a bad choice. Their network is a bit weaker and there are not that many stores to buy their prepaid sim cards are great value for money.

Buy an Italy sim card online

If you don't want to waste your precious holiday time standing in line for buying an Italy sim card then order one online. On top of the above mentioned Orange sim card for Europe, the following prepaid sim cards are perfect for traveling in Italy:

1. Lycamobile Unlimited Talk Text Data

  • price $23
  • Unlimited data*
  • Unlimited calling + texting

*Lycamobile unlimited data is ONLY 2 GB at 4G/LTE speed and then reduced to 3G speed! They are masters in sales, not performance! 3G speed is awful.

2. TravSIM European SIM Card

  • price $21.99
  • 6 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • Unlimited sms in Europe

3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 8 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

4. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 5 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

5. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

6. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

My recommendation if you want to order a sim card for Italy online is Orange Holiday Europe sim card. You can order them directly through the Simoptions website, as well as all the other above sim cards. They have sim cards for traveling in every country in Europe for sale. The sim card will be send to your home address and you simply put it in your phone on arrival. The data packages are already activated!

Portable Wifi device

Another option and great if you travel with kids is a portable Wifi device from TEP Wireless. It is possible to connect 5 devices at the same time to the portable Wifi and for a couple dollars per day you have an unlimited data connection. You safe the hassle of buying a sim card as you order the TEP Wireless online before your trip, click on the banner for more info.

portable wifi device for traveling

I hope the above tips for buying a prepaid sim card in Italy are useful for your upcoming trip. May you have any questions please leave me a comment below, Im more than happy to assist you!

Enjoy your trip to Italy!

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