Getting a sim card for smartphone while in Italy

My college-age daughter is going with classmates to Italy for a month. Our cell carrier does not have international data, so she’ll need to get a sim card for her iPhone when she gets there for the time she’s there, about three-four weeks.

But I have no idea how those plans would work, or what to tell her to get. Would it give her X amount of data and then she re-loads it if she reaches that amount? Or pay-as-you-go? What carrier is good there? She’ll be in Rome and Tuscany, not in remote areas.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, particularly since this is on my dime, not hers.

You could try and see if these guys are good enough for you, it’s a US company, so, should be easier for you to deal with.

This isn’t a personal suggestion, just a Google result that looks promising for someone in the US.

Found in this page BTW, might have better solutions for you:

Thank you for both links, particularly the article. Although I will be the broke one, staying home :)

I have Google Fi, which I gather is similar to what T-Mobile offers. When I step off a plane in a new country, it takes 5-10 minutes for my phone to connect to the local network, then I’m on with full phone, text and data, using my U.S. phone number. Costs about 20 cents/minute for phone calls, but texts are free and data is the same rate as the U.S. I’ve used this reliably in Thailand, Argentina, Japan, China, France, Costa Rica, and Mexico. In Vietnam it didn’t work, and I had to buy a sim card (which I knew I’d have to do in advance) and it was no big deal–the lady at the kiosk in the airport expertly disassembled my phone, installed the new SIM and configured it properly. Italy, however, is covered by Google Fi.

fwiw the project fi unlimited plus has unlimited data and it’s $65/month If she’s gonna be watching tv you may be happier with piece of mind with no surprise bill

i was on the flex plan ($10/GB) and it still capped me at $60 or something when I was in London, to my pleasant surprise. That was a few years ago thought

Thanks for the google fi idea @Matt_W and @wisefool.

I think the best option is to get an esim for data. Our carrier offers international voice and text, but not data, and her phone is esim capable. That way she’s all set up before she goes.

So if I understand this correctly, if we install an esim, the voice/data function is still active? It essentially splits the tasks between two carriers?

If it’s only for a month you could also get a local plan geared towards tourists. Not the greatest deal in world when you compare it to their regular plans, but those are usually a two year commitment and in my experience Wind has the best coverage in Italy:

If she has wireless access in hotels etc. for data intensive stuff like videos she should be ok with the 20GB data cap. Otherwise Google Fi is probably a better route.

You can purchase online through their store and get the Sim card delivered to an Italian address or pick it up in a store of your choice.