Skip to content

Italy eSIM: Best Prepaid eSIMs for Your Italy Trip in 2024

Best Esim for Italy
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. We earn a small commission on every purchase made at no extra cost to you.

Are you searching for the best eSIM for your upcoming trip to Italy? Whether you are a first-time eSIM buyer or haven’t purchased one in a while, this is your comprehensive resource for picking out the best eSIM plan for Italy.

Staying connected abroad is crucial. A steady internet connection lets you navigate with maps, browse the web, and stay in touch – essential for convenience and safety. On our vacations to Italy, we’ve used dozens of eSIMs and we want to share our knowledge and recommendations with you so you can choose the right eSIM for your Italian vacation.

In this eSIM Italy guide, we will walk you through the best eSIM providers for Italy, the recommended data plan based on the length of your trip, and other essential eSIM tips. Let’s dive in and find you the perfect eSIM for a connected adventure.

OUR TOP PICK

Airalo is our preferred choice for eSIMs in Italy. With reliable coverage and affordable prices, Airalo is a great option for most travelers.

Check out Airalo Italy eSIMs

Before You Begin

You’ll need to check a couple of things before purchasing your eSIM for Italy:

  1. Confirm you have an eSIM-compatible device
  2. Verify your phone is unlocked (Unsure if your phone is unlocked? Contact your cellphone service provider.)

Once you confirm the two items above, make sure you have a stable internet connection to install and activate your eSIM.

What is an eSIM?

SIM cards are the tools that connect your phone to cellular networks. They are the technology that allows your phone to connect to the internet and send and receive messages.

An eSIM (embedded SIM) revolutionizes how devices connect to cellular networks, enabling phones to send messages, make calls, and access the internet without a physical SIM card. Traditionally, phones required physical SIMs that needed manual swapping when traveling internationally – a process that was not only cumbersome but also posed a risk of losing the tiny chip.

eSIMs are embedded directly into your device, removing the hassle of swapping physical cards. This technology allows you to activate and change service providers digitally, without the need to visit a store. You can purchase and set up your eSIM online, ensuring you’re connected as soon as you arrive in Italy.

Our Experience with Italy eSIMs

eSIMs have been a game-changer for us as we travel. They have simplified our Italian travels by making connectivity easier and more affordable. We often work while we travel, and our eSIMs have been life savers as they have provided a much-needed internet hotspot for us when the internet has gone down or been slow in our hotels.

We have always had reliable cell service when traveling in Italy with our eSIMs. This includes traveling in big cities like Rome, Florence, and Milan, or tiny villages like Alberobello, Fara in Sabina, and Brisighella.

That’s not to say that data can’t occasionally be slow or drop. However, in our experience, those drops are far and few between and typically last just a couple of minutes. And, as eSIMs become more widespread, the drops in coverage are getting smaller and smaller.

What We Use eSIMs for in Italy

  • Navigating with Google Maps
  • Checking email for reservations
  • Messaging hotels/Airbnbs and restaurants
  • Communicating with family and friends
  • Sharing photos
  • Searching for things to do and restaurants to try
  • Using social media
  • Hotspot for our computers
  • Streaming shows/movies
  • Purchasing train tickets

What We Love About eSIMs in Italy

  • Reliable coverage from the top to bottom of Italy
  • Affordable pricing
  • Ability to purchase and install before our trips begin
  • Ready to use when we arrive in the country
  • No need to visit a physical store
  • No longer worry about losing our physical SIM cards
  • Easy to top-up on data
  • Good customer service

Best eSIMs Based On Your Trip Duration

Below are our recommended eSIM plans based on the total number of days you expect to stay in Italy. If you want to know which eSIM providers we recommend, skip to the eSIM provider section.

Best eSIM card for 1-5 Days in Italy

Airalo | 3GB | 30 Days | $10.00 | Buy this plan

For short-term travelers, we strongly recommend Airalo as the best eSIM option. At a minimum, consider purchasing a plan with at least 3GB of data. Airalo provides a 30-day plan with 3GB of data for just $10.00.

Plan features:

  • 3GB Data
  • Valid for 30 days
  • Easy Installation
  • Easy Top-up via App or Online
  • Cellular Networks: Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Wind Tre
  • Cost: $10.00

Best eSIM card for 6-13 Days in Italy

Airalo | 10GB | 30 Days | $24.00 | Buy this plan

Airalo is the most affordable option for anyone traveling in Italy for 6 to 13 days. We recommend getting at least 10GBs for trips of this length. Airalo offers a 30-day plan with 10GB of data for $24.00.

Plan features:

  • 10GB Data
  • Valid for 30 days
  • Easy Installation
  • Easy Top-up via App or Online
  • Cellular Networks: Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Wind Tre
  • Cost: $24.00

Best eSIM card for 14-21 Days in Italy

Airalo | 20GB | 30 Days | $33.00 | Buy this plan

We recommend the Airalo 20GB plan for trips between two and three weeks in Italy. You’ll likely be exploring various parts of Italy, meaning you’ll need enough data to help you navigate around the country.

20GB of data should be plenty to get you through your trip unless you frequently stream videos.

On our three-week trip through Italy, the 20GB package proved perfect for our needs. Airalo offers a 30-day plan with 20GB of data for $33.00.

Plan features:

  • 20GB Data
  • Valid for 30 days
  • Easy Installation
  • Easy Top-up via App or Online
  • Cellular Networks: Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Wind Tre
  • Cost: $33.00

Best eSIM card for 22-30 Days in Italy

Airalo | 20GB | 30 Days | $33.00 | Buy this plan

We often spend a month in Italy, and for anyone staying three weeks or more, we recommend the Airalo 20GB plan, which costs just $33.

20GB is often enough to get us through our month-long stays in Italy, especially considering we use the WiFi provided by our hotels or Airbnbs when we are there.

Plan features:

  • 20GB Data
  • Valid for 30 days
  • Easy Installation
  • Easy Top-up via App or Online
  • Cellular Networks: Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Wind Tre
  • Cost: $33.00

Best eSIM card for 31 – 90 Days in Italy

Holafly | Unlimited Data | 31 – 90 Days | $87.00 – $99.00 | Buy this plan

For those staying in Italy for 2-3 months, we recommend getting the Holafly 60 or 90-day unlimited data plan. Holafly is a reputable eSIM company that offers unlimited data plans for Italy.

These plans are slightly more expensive due to unlimited data, but they’ll ensure internet access throughout your time in Italy. We’ve had excellent experiences using Holafly in Italy. Holafly offers a 60 or 90-day plans with unlimited data for $87.00 or $99.00.

Plan features:

  • Unlimited mobile data
  • 4G/LTE/5G speeds
  • Share up to 500MB per day with others
  • Cellular Networks: ILIAD, Wind Tre
  • Cost: $87.00 – $99.00

Note: A second option for those staying between 31 – 60 days is to buy the Airalo 30-day 20GB plan and top up when your first 30-day plan expires. For two 30-day Airalo plans, you’d pay just $66.00, significantly less than Holafly’s 60-day eSIM.

Best Italy eSIM with Unlimited Data

Up above, we listed the five eSIM plans that we recommend for most travelers. Those did not include unlimited data plans. If unlimited data is essential for your trip to Italy, we strongly suggest purchasing an eSIM from Holafly.

All Holafly plans include unlimited data for Italy. This means you can use your phone on the go, share your data with other users via hotspot, and use your phone as a mobile hotspot for your computer if you are working from a cafe. As a note, you can only share up to 500MB per day with others via hotspot.

Plans start at $19.00 for 5 days.

Our second choice is Maya Mobile. Maya Mobile offers unlimited data plans for Italy. WiFi hotspot is available with the Unlimited Standard and Unlimited MAX plans.

Although Maya Mobile offers unlimited data plans, they restrict high-speed data usage. After the first 2 GB of daily high-speed data, you will be throttled down to LTE data at 1Mbps.

Best Italy eSIM for Phone Calls and SMS

If you need an eSIM for Italy that can make phone calls, we highly recommend getting the Orange eSIM. They provide you with a French phone number which allows you to make unlimited calls anywhere in Europe for the duration of your eSIM plan.

We recommend starting with the Holiday Europe 12GB plan. This plan will provide you with coverage in Italy but also gives you unlimited calls and texts in Europe.

Here are some of the plan features:

  • 12GB in 4G/LTE
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • Unlimited texts in Europe
  • 30 minutes of calls from Europe to countries outside of Europe
  • 200 texts from Europe to countries outside of Europe
  • 14 days

With Orange, once you make a purchase, your eSIM will be emailed to you where you can follow instructions to activate it.

Our eSIM Ranking Methodology

Before we share our eSIM recommendation, we want to let you know the criteria we used for ranking the eSIMs. Our choice of the best eSIM for Italy is based on four main criteria: Coverage, Price, Ease of Use, and Customer Support, ranked in order by their significance.

  1. Coverage. When choosing an eSIM, reliable coverage is the most important factor. You want to choose an eSIM that will work no matter where you are visiting in Italy.
  2. Price. Cost is a critical consideration when purchasing an eSIM. They are meant to save you money, so we weigh this heavily in our criteria.
  3. Ease of use. Our third criterion is focused on ease of use. How easy is the eSIM to purchase, install, and activate? How many plans does the provider offer?
  4. Customer Support. We also take into consideration customer support for each eSIM provider. When something doesn’t go as planned, having reliable customer support to help fix an issue is important.

Our Recommended eSIM Providers for Italy

Airalo is our number one recommended eSIM for Italy.

During our trips to Italy, we have used various eSIM plans from Airalo and Holafly to Vodafone. Each eSIM has provided steady cell service with 5G, LTE, and 4G speeds. Thus, we can confidently recommend any of the eSIM providers featured in this guide.

However, because of its wide coverage, affordable pricing, and flexible plans, Airalo is our top choice for eSIM providers in Italy. Here is why Airalo comes out on top:

  • Extensive Coverage: Airalo’s eSIMs offer comprehensive 5G, LT, and 4G coverage across Italy, ensuring you stay connected in major cities, tiny villages, and even off-the-beaten-path destinations.
  • Flexible Data Plans: Whether you’re in Italy for a short visit or an extended stay, Airalo has a plan that suits your needs.
  • Affordable Pricing: Airalo provides some of the most competitive rates for eSIMs, allowing you to enjoy high-speed internet without breaking the bank.
  • Ease of Use: Installing your Airalo eSIM is simple. With a straightforward activation process and immediate access to data upon arrival, you can start exploring Italy straight away.

Airalo does not offer unlimited data plans or the ability to make phone calls within Italy. If either feature is important to you, we recommend scrolling up to our recommended Italian eSIM providers section above.

Trusted eSIM Italy eSIM Providers

Many eSIM providers offer data plans for Italy, but the best eSIM for Italy can be found through these five main providers. Based on the criteria listed above and personal experience, here are five trustworthy eSIM companies for your trip to Italy.

  1. Airalo
  2. Holafly
  3. Vodafone
  4. Orange
  5. Maya Mobile

These are large companies that provide reliable data throughout Italy. Each of these companies offers a variety of eSIM Italy data packages depending on how much data you need and the duration of your trip. They range from 1 to 90-day data plans.

Airalo Italy eSIM

Our #1 recommended eSIM provider | Buy a plan

Airalo is the eSIM service we use the most when traveling in Italy. With low costs, reliable coverage, and a user-friendly installation process and app, Airalo makes staying connected in Italy easy.

Airalo eSIM Facts:

  • 5 million+ users as of August 2023
  • Coverage in over 200 countries and regions
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Android/iOS compatible
  • Italy Networks: Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Wind Tre
  • Local Calls: No
  • Unlimited Data Plans: No
  • Top Up: Yes
  • Mobile App: Yes

Airalo is one of the world’s largest eSIM providers and one of the best eSIM solutions for Italy. Their packages are affordable, starting at just $4.50 for their smallest package. Aside from the price, one of the things we like most about Airalo is that you can buy your eSIM for Italy before you leave on your trip.

You can buy it weeks or months in advance, install it on your phone, and then leave it dormant until you take off for Italy where you can activate it and use it immediately upon landing in the country.

While Airalo does not offer unlimited data plans, you can purchase their 20GB Italy plan, which is more than enough for almost any vacation, and you can top up if needed.

Bonus: For frequent travelers, Airalo’s loyalty program gives you credits for every purchase, which can be applied to your next eSIM purchase or top-up, making an affordable service even more affordable.

Holafly eSIM for Italy

Best for Unlimited Data Plans | Buy a plan

Holafly helps travelers cut costs on expensive internet roaming bills by providing great cell service in Italy. In our experience with Holafly, our internet connection has been fast, reliable, and best of all, all of their plans include unlimited data, giving you peace of mind on your journey.

For travelers who want unlimited data, Holafly is the way to go. Holafly plans are perfect for remote workers and travelers who want to stream movies or upload lots of photos and videos to social media.

Holayfly eSIM Facts:

  • Over 30,000 positive reviews
  • 160 Destinations
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Android/iOS compatible
  • Italy Networks: ILIAD, Wind Tre
  • Local Calls: Available with the purchase of a Europe eSIM plan
  • Unlimited Data Plans: Yes
  • Top Up: Yes
  • Mobile App: Yes

Holafly Italy eSIM packages start at $19.00 for a 5-day unlimited package and go up to $99.00 for a 90-day prepaid eSIM data plan.

With Holafly, you have the option to top up your data whenever your plan runs out and you require additional data.

The Holafly Italy eSIM does not provide a designated phone number for local calls. However, Holafly’s Europe eSIM plan, which is valid in Italy, now includes a designated number for calls. Text messaging is not available, but you can send messages via apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Vodafone eSIM for Italy

Best for those traveling to many countries within their trip | Buy a plan

Vodafone, one of Europe’s largest and most trusted cell phone service providers, has offered physical SIM cards for years. With the transition to eSIMs, it only makes sense that Vodafone offers prepaid eSIM plans.

Their mobile data plans cover 45+ countries including Italy. Vodafone’s cheapest plan starts at 5GB for 10 days for just €12.00.

  • 300M+ Vodafone Customers
  • Coverage in 45+ Countries
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • 5G/LTE/4G speeds
  • Android/iOS compatible
  • Italy Networks: Vodafone
  • Local Calls: No
  • Unlimited Data Plans: No
  • Top Up: Yes
  • Mobile App: No

Vodafone’s cellular service is top-notch. While Vodafone’s eSIM packages don’t include phone calls or text messages, their data is fast and reliable throughout Italy.

The inability to activate their eSIM from your home country and the lack of a mobile app makes them less user-friendly than Airalo or Holafly. However, they are still a great option if you are looking for an Italy eSIM.

Orange eSIM for Italy

Best for those who need to make phone calls | Buy a plan

Orange is another one of Europe’s most popular cell service providers. With over 250 million customers worldwide, they know a thing or two about cellular connectivity.

  • 250M+ Customers
  • 5G/LTE/4G speeds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Android/iOS compatible
  • Italy Networks: Orange
  • Local Calls: Yes – Unlimited within Europe
  • Unlimited Data Plans: No
  • Top Up: Yes
  • Mobile App: No

Orange has recently started selling prepaid eSIM cards that include unlimited calls and SMS within Italy and Europe. The phone number assigned to your eSIM will be a French phone number. You can both send and receive calls with this phone number.

Orange’s cheapest data plan, which includes unlimited phone calls, starts at €19.99. The plan comes with 12GB of data, unlimited calls and SMS within Europe, 30 minutes of calls to countries outside of Europe, and 200 text messages to countries outside Europe. The package is valid for 14 days.

Orange’s customer service is available 24/7 to assist you with your traveling eSIM card.

Maya Mobile eSIM for Italy

Best for remote workers | Buy a plan

Maya Mobile is a relative newcomer to the international travel eSIM scene. They offer great flexible data plans for Italy.

  • 3,660 reviews
  • 5G/LTE/4G speeds
  • Android/iOS compatible
  • Email support
  • Italy Networks: Vodafone, Wind Tre
  • Local Calls: No
  • Unlimited Data Plans: Yes
  • Top Up: Yes
  • Mobile App: No

Maya Mobile’s eSIM plans are compatible with iOS and Android devices and offer fast 5G/4G mobile data. With Maya Mobile plans, you pick your plan duration, select prepaid or unlimited data plans, and connect instantly to high-speed cellular data.

Their cheapest plan is their 5-day 3 GB option which starts at $4.00.

Their high-speed WiFi connection lets you enjoy music, movies, and games and stay connected to work and family. It is great for using common apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Spotify, and Zoom.

With a 5G connection, you can get a maximum download speed of 100 Mbit/second.

Most plans will give you enough data for your trip, but you can always top up if needed.

Maya Mobile plans do not include a local phone number.

Comparing the Best eSIM Data Plans for Italy

When selecting an eSIM package for your trip to Italy, you’ll want to answer the following questions to know which package you should purchase.

  1. How long is my trip?
  2. What is the primary purpose for needing data?
  3. What apps will I be using the most?
  4. Do I need to use my eSIM plan as a hotspot for my computer
  5. Do I need to make local phone calls?

The answers to these questions will help you determine which plan you need. For example, let’s say you are doing a 7-day tour through Italy and renting a car to explore, you will need more data than if you are doing a 4-day guided tour of Rome.

As mentioned earlier in the article, we prefer Airalo for our eSIM needs. However, each traveler’s needs are unique, so we suggest answering the five questions in this section and then reading about the five eSIM providers below. This will help you determine which provider is best for you.

Why You Should Avoid Using Your Home Plan’s International Data Plan

Many people have asked us if they can use their home plan’s international data plan while traveling. Technically, you can, but we do not recommend it.

International data plans can cost as much as $10 per day, which adds up quickly on an international trip. These expensive data roaming fees can be avoided by purchasing an affordable travel SIM card.

eSIM data packages are so convenient and affordable that we highly recommend purchasing an eSIM for your trip to Italy.

For example, eSIM plans for Italy start as low as $4.50 for a 7-day 1GB plan on Airalo. Even a 30-day plan with 20 GB of data only costs $33. If you use your home network for a 7-day trip, you are looking at spending at least $70.00.

When to Buy an eSIM Card for Your Trip to Italy

One of the best features of eSIMs is that you can buy them months ahead and activate them before you take off on your plane ride.

We suggest purchasing your eSIM at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure. This will give you time to activate your eSIM and contact support should you encounter any technical issues.

We recommend installing your eSIM over a stable WiFi connection. Purchase your eSIM while connected to your home network, install it, and then verify in your phone settings that it has been properly set up.

How to Install and Activate Your eSIM for Italy

Some eSIMs are activated as soon as they are installed. Others are activated only when they connect to a supported network.

Installing your eSIM for Italy will vary based on your eSIM provider and which mobile device you own. Because of that, you will want to follow the installation process as outlined by your eSIM provider.

Generally speaking, most eSIMs offer a QR code installation process that is quick and easy to follow. When you scan the eSIM QR code, you’ll be asked if you want to install the eSIM, to which you will say Yes/Continue. From there, you will follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installations.

Some eSIMs are activated as soon as you install them. This means you should not install them until right before your trip so you can get the most out of your eSIM data.

Others are activated when you turn on your eSIM line and connect to a supported cellular network at your destination. For these types, you can install your eSIM days or weeks before your trip and then set the eSIM to active in your phone’s settings just before your flight.

Check your eSIM installation details to know how and when yours is activated.

Phone Requirements for eSIMs

Before buying an eSIM, you’ll need to make sure that your phone is compatible with eSIMs. Since this is a newer technology, older phone models do not work with eSIMs.

We’ll give a general idea here of which phones work with eSIMs, but if you have specific questions about your phone model, we recommend checking this list of eSIM-compatible devices or contacting your cell provider.

  • iPhones*
    • iPhones from the XR model have eSIMs. This includes the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14 and iPhone 15, iPhone SE2 and iPhone SE3.
  • Samsung Phones*
    • Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy S24, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy Fold2, Samsung Galaxy Fold3, Samsung Galaxy Fold4, Samsung Galaxy Fold5, Samsung Galaxy Flip, Samsung Galaxy Flip3, Samsung Galaxy Flip4, Samsung Galaxy Flip5.
  • Google Pixel*
    • Google Pixel 3, Google Pixel 4, Google Pixel 5, Google Pixel 6, Google Pixel 7, Google Pixel 8, Google Pixel Fold.
  • Your phone must be unlocked
    • Not sure if your phone is unlocked? A good rule of thumb is if you have to ask this question, your phone is most likely not unlocked. You’ll need to take your phone to your service provider and have them unlock it before your trip. To unlock your phone, your phone must be paid off.

*Note, I did not cover all phones, just some of the most common ones. If you have questions about other devices, including tablets, reach out to your data provider and they will be able to assist you.

Recommendations for Getting the Most Out of Your eSIM

  • Download offline maps to help you preserve data on your phone
  • Connecting to the internet at your accommodation to preserve your data
  • Use apps like WhatsApp to send messages
  • Download entertainment to your device beforehand on your home internet
  • Monitor your data usage to know if you need to top up

FAQ

Is Airalo legit and how does it work in Italy?

Yes, Airalo is a reputable and trustworthy eSIM provider for your travels in Italy. Airalo provides high-speed data that works well in all major cities and towns in Italy. It is our most recommended eSIM for travelers to Italy.

Should I activate my eSIM before or after I arrive in my destination?

We recommend activating your eSIM at the airport before your departure flight. Then, when you arrive in the country, your eSIM will connect to a supported network and you’ll be able to use it.

Which is better Airalo or Holafly?

Both eSIM providers are excellent options, and we’ve never had a problem with either. Airalo offers more affordable options and is therefore a more convenient choice for most travelers.

Holafly only offers unlimited data plans, making their packages more expensive, and making their plans better for digital nomads. However, you cannot go wrong with either in terms of speed and connectivity.

How do I get an eSIM for Italy?

You can purchase an eSIM for Italy by visiting the website or app of one of the eSIM providers (Airalo, Holafly, Maya Mobile, etc.) and making a purchase. You will then receive an email or QR Code with installation instructions.

Does Italy have eSIM?

Yes, eSIM services are common in Italy. You can use common providers such as Airalo, Holafly, Vodafone, Orange, Maya Mobile, or Bouygues Telecom to get an eSIM for Italy.

Does Vodafone Italy have an eSIM?

Yes, Vodafone sells eSIM packages that can be used in Italy. Vodafone does not sell a specific Italy package, instead, their eSIM package works in 45+ European countries, including Italy.

Should I get an eSIM or physical SIM card?

If your phone is eSIM compatible, we strongly recommend using an eSIM. eSIMs work just as well and remove the hassle of finding a store at the airport in town to purchase a physical card. If your phone does not work with eSIMs, then you must use a physical prepaid travel SIM card.

Do I need an unlimited data eSIM plan for my trip to Italy?

Most travelers to Italy won’t need an unlimited data plan. Unlimited data is best for those planning to use their phone extensively. This would include those who plan on working abroad, streaming videos, or have specific needs that require unlimited data. For most travelers, a prepaid eSIM data plan should be plenty of data for your trip.

Does everyone in my traveling party need their own eSIM?

Whether or not each traveler needs their own eSIM depends upon your travel style and preferences. If you plan on traveling together at all times, you can probably get away with just one person buying an eSIM for their phone.

If you plan on splitting up or want to use your phone while you explore, we recommend purchasing an eSIM for each traveler.

More information for your trip to Italy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *