While using your American phone in Italy is simple, it is expensive. Unreliable Wi-Fi can make the reality of keeping in touch via a service like WhatsApp more frustrating than it should be.
Purchasing a SIM in Italy is a great way to avoid overage charges from your cell phone carrier. It will ensure you don’t get stuck with a bill and you can use up to 4G of data (10/2016).
If you anticipate using your phone data, consider traveling with a mobile phone fitted with a Italian SIM card.
What you will need
1) A PAPER CLIP.
2) 20 Euros for 4G (10/2016) + Finding a TIM store
3) Your Phone
4) Your passport
I went with a SIM card from a company TIM for 20Euros with 4G. After around 20 texts, I was unable to text. HOWEVER, I was able to keep my 4G of data. With that I was able to load slack and whatsapp.
1) Find a TIM store
2) They will require your passport.
3) Demand they put it in the phone WHEN YOU ARE IN THE STORE. Don’t walk far from this store for 60 minutes.
4) After 30 minutes it should register. After 30 minutes restart your phone. IF it still does not work, go back to the store.
SIM registration is required by the Italian government prior to service activation. This can be done using your passport when purchasing a SIM card. More information on the regulatory requirements can be found here at www.italycellphone.com
Below is a picture of what you will be given. Ask them to TAPE YOUR CURRENT sim card to this card.