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Cell Phones in Italy

Pauline Kenny

Cell phones in Italy work the same as in the rest of Europe. Read our Europe Trip Planning - Cell Phones page for complete details about Europe cell phones. This page tells you how to recharge your SIM card in Italy (how to add money to your account).


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How to Recharge Your Italy SIM Card

When you buy the Italy SIM card, it comes with prepaid time (ours came with 25 euro of prepaid time). When that runs out, you have to purchase more time. I think you can add more time on the phone using your credit card, but most people buy more time with a "Ricaricard" (pronounced ree-KAH-ree-kahrd). Read more below:

Purchase a "Ricaricard" (recharge card) at a Tabaccheria, phone store or media store. These cards come in denominations of 25 or 50 euro (sometimes they are available in smaller amounts). The card costs 5 euro more than it is worth (service charge). Be sure to get the right type of card - TIM or WIND (depends on what SIM card you have).

The card is a plastic card with a secret code on the back. Scratch off the silver covering the secret code on the card. Be careful scratching it off. I once managed to scratch off the whole thing and had to piece it together to find my code. Use a coin and scratch lightly.

For TIM, dial 4916 from the phone and then you are prompted in English (if your phone service has been set to English). Select the option to recharge the phone.

Enter the secret code, wait for confirmation and you are all set. The information is downloaded to your phone. The process is very easy.

Front of Ricaricard

This card is for 50 euro of talk time and cost 55 euro. It is used with TIM SIM cards.

Back of Ricaricard

Scratch off the silver to see the code. Be careful when scratching - use a coin and don't scratch too hard.

How Much Money Do I Have Left on the SIM Card?

You can call a number to find out your remaining minutes. For TIM, dial 4916.

Do These SIM Cards Expire?

The Ricaricard expires - the date is on the back. If your cell phone is not used for a set length of time, your SIM card expires. If the SIM card expires, you must purchase a new one (and get a new phone number).


www.tim.it: TIM, Italian phone company

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