Italy Calling Card
A Low-Cost Way to Connect with Friends & Family

Italy Calling Card

Most travellers want to call home at some point in time during their vacation perhaps to check in, say “hi” or simply brag about all of the amazing adventures they’ve been on. Doing so from a hotel room or cell phone can be extremely expensive even for a short call. One way to keep in touch with loved ones back home and to avoid outrageous long distance charges while vacationing in Italy is to purchase an international calling card.

These calling cards can be purchased at convenience stores, newsstands, some cafes & coffee shops as well as online. They are sold with various currency amounts and cost of talking per minute is much more reasonably priced than calling long distance through your cell phone on using a landline.

Long Distance Calling Cards Explained

Calling cards are purchased for the country you wish to call. If you are outside the Italian peninsula and would like to call there to talk to a friend or a family member, you could benefit from an Italy calling card. If travelling in Italy and need to get in touch with someone outside the country, then an international calling card for the desired country is needed. These long distance cards can be used in two different ways:

  • The card can be directly inserted into a pay phone that accepts calling cards. The phone registers the card as a payment method, just like it would a credit or debit card. Once inserted, country code (for Italy it's +39) is usually entered followed by the local prefix and phone number of the person you would like to contact. The money amount of the talk time is deducted from the card and the remaining balance is available to be used at a later time. Calling cards do expire so it's a good idea to read the rules and limitations of them before purchasing. If you would like to learn more about what consumers should know about calling cards, feel free to have a read on the FCC website.
  • The card can also be used on a regular landline or a local cell phone, just follow the directions on the back of the card. First, there is usually a phone number that must be dialled; then a pin (which can be revealed by scratching off a section on the back of card); followed by a prompt for the country code and phone number to be dialled of the person you are trying to call. A monetary amount is subtracted from your Italy calling card or the or an international one, based on the length of conversation plus a connection fee. It is important to check if you will be charged a phone usage fee, especially when using your hotel room phone. Some hotels do charge a fee and depending on where you are staying, this fee could be costly. 


There are many benefits to using a prepaid Italy calling card if you want to make some calls prior to your trip, perhaps to do some research or ask specific questions to avoid unwanted surprises. Because of the booming tourism industry in Italy, a lot of major businesses have english speaking personnel that answer phones, simply ask - "lei parla inglese?", and sometimes you might get lucky.

If the need arises to stay connected with friends and family while vacationing in Italy and your preferred method of communication is by phone, using a long distance calling card will provide the following benefits:

  • Phone cards can be purchased ahead of time, prior to travelling 
  • They eliminate the need for having loose change for pay phones
  • They allow us to budget our money properly without having the risk of running up costly long distance charges on the mobile or hotel room phone

As you travel around the country collecting memories and exciting stories, staying connected does not have to cost a fortune. Avoid outrageous hotel calling bills as well as disappointing post-vacation cell phone bills by planning ahead and considering making use of a long distance calling card. Simply walk into any tobacco, grocery shop or a convenience store and ask for "una scheda telefonica internazionale" for your home or desired country. You will pay a fraction of the price and will be able to make that call right away! 

Similar Topics

Leave a Page Comment & Subscribe to Stay Informed

Subscribe to Train Travel Italy Newsletter