How to get internet in Italy: SIM, roaming, eSIM or wifi? | May 2024

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Last update: May 6, 2024
Roams UK
Author: Roams UK
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In short

Internet connection is essential when travelling, so if you are looking for internet in Italy there are different options: eSIM, wifi, pay to go and roaming. The best alternative is Holafly's eSIM, which gives you unlimited data for £19. Plus, with the code ROAMS you get a 5% discount.

Internet in Italy: alternatives for your trip

Having data on our mobile phones has become a priority in our daily lives, so when we start our trips one of the first questions we ask ourselves is whether we have data. If your tariff is in a European Union country, roaming is normally available, but you should take into account some aspects to choose what is best for you. Here we are going to explain some alternatives for internet in Italy.

Being able to use the internet while travelling in Italy will allow you to stay connected, check or change your reservations at any time, send wonderful photos while enjoying the landscapes of Cinque Terre, find the fastest route to the Colosseum in Rome or book one of the museums in Florence.

In the following table you can see some of the fares you can use for your trip in Italy so you can decide which option suits you best.

How much does it cost the internet in Italy
Service Price/Days Data plan
Italy eSIM from Holafly
  • From £19/5 days
  • Unlimited
SIM card Italy
  • From £10/30 days
  • 5GB
Wifi in Italy
  • Portable
  • Public

  • From £7/day
  • Free

  • 1GB/day
  • Unlimited
Roaming in Italy
  • EE
  • Vodafone
  • Three

  • According to your tariff
  • According to your tariff
  • According to your tariff

  • According to your tariff
  • According to your tariff
  • According to your tariff

eSIM in Italy: the best data plan

An eSIM, or virtual card, is a revolution on the smartphones world that allows users to have a data plan without needing a phisical version of that card. The activation is simple: you scan a QR code and, all of the sudden, you have connection to internet.

Our expert opinion

In the case of Holafly eSIm cards, you can keep your phone number while travelling, so in applications such as WhatsApp it is a plus point as you will keep your contacts to continue chatting in the same way.

author's photo
Roams UK

Furthermore, thanks to this type of product, you can use your usual mobile service for calls and Holafly's eSIMs to manage your use of the data plan. That's a big move for the people that don't have an unlimited data service with their provider.

With the rise of eSIMs around the world, many operators have emerged to offer this product. To give you a quick overview of the different options, we have prepared the following table.

Price and service of eSIMs in Italy
Provider Gigabytes Price/Days
  • Unlimited
  • £19/5 days
  • 1GB
  • £5 per day
  • 5GB
  • £16/24 days
  • 512MB
  • £5/7 days

Comparing the different operators, we found that Holafly's eSIM offers the best service, relative to its price. In fact, it is the only one with unlimited data, which is important for carefree travel.

As it is a virtual card, one of the advantages of the Holafly eSIM card is that it is available the moment you buy it, you don't have to wait for it to arrive at your home as it is sent by email. Activation of the Holafly card is very simple and delivery is immediate so that you can connect and have data on your mobile in just a few minutes.

eSim Italy
Prepaid: 5 days expiry
Data Unlimited

Connection speed 4G
Pay as you go£195 days expiry
taxes included

Roaming in Italy: another way of having internet in the country

Roaming is a service, activated by default, that allows you to use your mobile phone in a foreign country. This is done so that you can surf the internet, make calls and send SMS. Roaming within Europe has been free since 2017, but it has limitations such as the time spent in the foreign country.

In example: for roaming to be free, the phone must be used for longer in the home country than in the foreign country. Operators check consumption over the last four months. This can end on a limitation of use or lack of internet speed.

If you're planning on trusting roaming while you travel to Italy, make sure to ask your provider the limits of your tariff. In addition, if you have a limited data plan you may use all of your internet service aviable.

Wifi in Italy: Two different options

Wifi is a very popular choice to have internet because of two reasons: people are used to this form of internet connection and there are different ways to get it.

On the one hand we have the pocket wifi service, portable routers to which you can connect a limited number of devices. On the other hand, there are free wifi hotspots, present in airports, squares, stations and some establishments.

The first option is safe, although more inconvenient than eSIMs, prepaid cards or roaming, as you have to carry a constantly charged device to access the internet in Italy. However, free internet access points in Italy are very insecure - as in the rest of the world - as they are open networks and the connection is not encrypted.

We strongly advise against using free wifi hotspots, as your data could be stolen. For this reason, here is a list of the main pocket wifi providers in Italy:

  • WiTourist
  • HippocketWifi
  • WifiVox
  • TravelWifi
  • Rentconnect

  • Pay as you go SIM and data plans: principal providers

    If your current phone is not compatible with an eSIM, you don't need to change your phone for the trip, you can use a SIM card, which will give you access to calls and data at all times. You can decide whether to buy the card before your trip or once you are in your destination country.

    In this case, it is best to purchase a prepaid SIM card beforehand. This way you can enjoy data and calls the moment you set foot on Italian soil.

    You can do this online, at SimOptions they have different rates and prices to suit all trips from the best mobile operators. Some of the SIM cards with internet for Italy that you can buy to organise your trip before you fly are:

  • O2 Go Card: with calls and data, various card sizes to suit the mobile and own SIM number.
  • Data Pack from Three UK: has an English number, several SIM card formats and its own SIM number.
  • Holiday Europe from Orange: one of the best sellers, with top-up options and several SIM card formats.
  • EE Sim card: has good networks agreements all over Europe and nice coverage.

  • Coverage in Italy: where to find the fastest internet

    The central regions of Italy have the highest speeds, while the extreme regions such as Valle d'Aosta and Puglia have the lowest speeds. This is normal as the best connections are usually located around large population areas.

    That said, internet connection in Italy is really good. This country has been investing over 4G and 5G networks so both citizens and foreigners can enjoy good internet speed. Because of this, in most parts of the country the 4G network is the most widespread, but if you go to regions such as Rome, Milan, Florence or Naples you can find 5G speed.

    Our expert opinion

    If you want to enjoy the best internet in Italy, you must have a good mobile data plan in the country. Holafly eSIMs use the fastest networks, as they use the best providers in the area.

    author's photo
    Roams UK

    Advantages of having internet in Italy: leave nothing behind

    Nowadays we are accustomed to using our mobile phones to solve all the doubts that arise at any time of the day, so having internet access for our trip to Italy is essential and, surely, one of the first questions we ask ourselves when we are organising our trip.

    Below you will find some of the advantages of having internet in Italy. Maybe even some of them will give you an idea for your trip.

    • Stay connected: Send a WhatsApp to your family or friends to let them know you've arrived safely, make video calls whenever you want...
    • Avoid unforeseen events: Change a booking without a problem, order an Uber in minutes, get those tickets you forgot to buy in advance.
    • Explore new routes: With apps like Google Maps you can map out routes for the next day so you don't miss anything.
    • Get discounts: Many apps incorporate discount codes with their use in restaurants as well as in theatres or pubs.
    • Discover the best guides: There are countless websites that offer different ways to travel around Italy. From Rome to Tuscany, you have a whole world ahead of you.

    Tips before traveling to Italy

    Italy is one of the favourite countries for tourists. This is due to the great gastronomic and historical culture. From pizza to different kinds of pasta, a good white wine and a free tour in the afternoon are a good plan, don't you think?

    You should note that museums are free on the first Sunday of every month, so if your trip coincides with these dates you can visit the Roman Colosseum for free. Afterwards, you can have an Italian aperitif in one of the squares in Trastevere.

    Also, knowing some Italian words or phrases can help you to integrate into the Italian culture such as 'Buon giorno', hello in Italian, or 'Ciao', which is used to say hello and goodbye, 'Per favore', please, or 'Grazie', thank you, can also be useful as a sign of politeness. Don't take it personally if you notice a laugh on their face, though.

    To help you find the best things to do in Italy and make sure you don't miss anything when you get back, you can count on Holafly's eSIM. With it, you'll have hassle-free access to the internet at all times, through the best providers in the area.

    eSim Italy
    Prepaid: 5 days expiry
    Data Unlimited

    Connection speed 4G
    Pay as you go£195 days expiry
    taxes included

    Frequently asked questions about internet in Italy

    Is roaming aviable in Italy?

    Yes. Most of the companies provide their clients with the roaming service in Italy. Despite this, you should check the conditions of your tariff so you dont get surprises when you come back home.

    What's the best option to have internet in Italy?

    We reccommend Holafly's eSIM as the best way to have internet in Italy. It offers unlimited data for 5 days and a 24 hour support service in your language. Furthermore, it's the company that has the best opinions from their clients.

    Our methodology
    Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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    Roams UKRoams
    Actualizado por Roams UK

    Roams offers its advice on recurring-use services to enhance consumer savings. Its expertise is already valued by thousands of users, who trust Roams comparisons in different sectors to hire the best option.

    Nadia Pérez
    Edited and revised por Nadia Pérez