Would like to travel to Italy? Connectivity cannot be overlooked whether you are touring the Roman streets, enjoying a pasta dish in Florence or just sunbathing on the Amalfi coast. Having a local SIM or eSIM could be one of the best means to have smooth communication while on your trip.

This extensive manual will cover all pertinent information on Italy Vodafone SIM cards and Vodafone Italy eSIMs in Italy such as coverage, cost, and activation process among other things.

Italy Vodafone SIM Card & eSIM

1. Quick Facts about Vodafone

Vodafone Italy is a subsidiary of Vodafone Group, one of the largest mobile network operators in the world. Established in 1995 with over 29 million mobile subscribers; it is the second-largest mobile operator in Italy by market shares.

Here are some quick facts about Vodafone Italy:

  • Founded: 1995
  • Headquarters: Milan, Italy
  • Parent company: Vodafone Group
  • Customers: Over 29 million mobile customers
  • Market share: 2nd-largest mobile operator in Italy
  • Network: 4G and 5G coverage across Italy

Vodafone Italy offers a wide range of mobile services, including voice, data, and SMS. It also offers a variety of value-added services, such as TV, music, and gaming.

Vodafone Italy is a major player in the Italian telecommunications market and is committed to providing its customers with the latest and greatest mobile services.

vodafone italy logo

2. Why Vodafone When You’re Exploring Italy – Coverage and Speed

Having reliable network coverage is particularly important when one travels to a foreign country. Vodafone stands out in this regard, enjoying extensive nationwide coverage in Italy.

2.1. Vodafone Coverage in Italy

Italy Mobile Experience Awards November 2023

According to the Opensignal Report in November 2023 for Italy Mobile Network Experience, Vodafone continues to perform strongly on coverage metrics in Italy. The report shows that Vodafone users have the most consistent experience across all of Italy’s regions:

  • Vodafone shares the 5G Coverage Experience award with Fastweb, with both operators scoring 5.11 points on a 10-point scale. This demonstrates Vodafone’s superior 5G geographic coverage of populated areas, as seen by Opensignal users.
  • Additionally, Vodafone ranks highly for Availability, with users spending 96.6% of their time connected to 3G, 4G or 5G networks. While Iliad leads in Availability, Vodafone is one of the top performers in this metric.

Overall, the Opensignal report demonstrates that Vodafone continues to maintain strong coverage across Italy, particularly in its 5G network performance and availability, delivering a reliable connectivity experience for its users.

2.2. Vodafone Speed 

Italy Mobile Operators Speed

According to the Opensignal Mobile Network Experience Report for Italy, Vodafone has the fastest average overall download and upload speeds of all five national operators:

  • Vodafone users have the fastest average overall download speeds at 37.9Mbps, which is 4.1Mbps (12.2%) faster than second place Fastweb at 33.8Mbps. This wins Vodafone the Download Speed Experience award.
  • Vodafone’s download speeds have been steadily increasing over the past 2.5 years, with an increase of 0.7Mbps (1.8%) since the last report.
  • For upload speeds, Vodafone has an average of 10.4Mbps, winning the Upload Speed Experience award by 1Mbps over second place WindTre.
  • In regional analyses, Vodafone often has the highest download and upload speeds. For example, it has the fastest speeds in Central, North East, North West, and Sardinia regions.
  • Vodafone’s 5G download speed is measured at 239.3Mbps, winning it the 5G Download Speed award. Its 5G upload speed is 22.8Mbps.

So in summary, Vodafone consistently delivers the fastest overall download and upload speeds on mobile networks across Italy according to Opensignal’s measurements. It has won multiple national and regional speed awards, highlighting its strong performance in delivering high speeds to users.

3. Vodafone Connectivity Options for Travelers to Italy

Connectivity Option Description
Vodafone Tourist SIM This SIM card is designed for tourists and offers a variety of plans to choose from. All plans include local calls and SMS.
Vodafone eSIM Some newer phones support eSIM profiles that can be downloaded instead of a physical SIM. Vodafone offers eSIM plans for tourists. More convenient than a physical SIM but requires eSIM compatible phone.
Vodafone Pocket WiFi This is a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that you can rent from Vodafone. It allows you to connect up to 10 devices to the internet at the same time.

In general:

  • For an individual traveler with an eSIM compatible phone, the Vodafone Italy eSIM plan would likely be the best option for flexibility and all-in-one connectivity solution.

  • SIM card is good value if your phone can't do eSIM

  • Pocket WiFi only if you need to share internet between devices as a group.

4. Best Vodafone SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

Vodafone Holiday SIM and Vodafone Dolce Vita which grant generous data allowances and local calls are perfect for tourists. The SIM card usually has a validity of about thirty days and is activated on arrival at the airport.

Vodafone SIM Plan Price Data Local Calls Messages Validity Total Cost (USD)
Vodafone Holiday SIM ~ 30 USD 2 GB in 4G speed 300 minutes 300 SMS 30 days ~ 30 USD
Vodafone Dolce Vita ~ 15 USD 100 GB in 5G 200 minutes 200 SMS 30 days ~ 15 USD

5. Does Vodafone Support eSIM in Italy?

Yes, there is support for eSIM in Vodafone Italy. Currently, Vodafone Italy does not provide a Vodafone Italy eSIM tourist. The Vodafone Travel eSIM is also offered only for US and Canada citizens.

If you want to use eSIM with Vodafone network in Italy, you should consider other international eSIM providers using Vodafone’s network such as Italy-esim.com.

6. Where Can You Buy an Italy Vodafone SIM Card and eSIM?

If you’re traveling internationally and need cellular service, purchasing an Italy Vodafone SIM card or eSIM is a convenient option to consider. Where can you buy an Italy Vodafone SIM card and eSIM?

6.1. Where to Buy Vodafone SIM for Italy?

Here are some options for buying a Italy Vodafone SIM card in Italy:

  • Vodafone stores – Vodafone has its own retail stores located throughout Italy where you can purchase an Italy Vodafone SIM card. Look for Vodafone Store locations.
  • Mobile phone carrier stores – Major mobile carriers in Italy like TIM and WindTre also often sell Vodafone SIM cards in their stores.
  • Tobacco shops/tabacchi – Many tabacchi (tobacco shops) in Italy are authorized sellers for major carriers like Vodafone. They usually have SIM cards available.
  • Convenience stores – Larger convenience store chains like SisalPay and SnaiPoint may carry Vodafone prepaid SIM cards.
  • Online – You can order an Italy Vodafone SIM card online from the Vodafone Italy website for delivery. eSIM activation can also be done online.
  • Airports – Major airports in Italy usually have Vodafone kiosks or sales points where you can purchase a SIM upon arrival.
  • Supermarkets – Larger supermarket chains may have a mobile phone area where Vodafone SIMs can be purchased.
Vodafone store at Rome Airport
Vodafone store at Rome Airport

So in summary, the best options are Vodafone stores, mobile carrier stores, tobacco shops, convenience stores, or online ordering to get an Italy Vodafone SIM card or activate a Vodafone Italy eSIM when visiting Italy. Make sure to have your passport for ID.

6.2. Where to Buy Vodafone eSIM in Italy?

Vodafone Italy eSIMs can be requested directly online at the time of purchase of your offer or in-store for €1( ~ 1 USD). In stores, it is also possible to replace the physical SIM card with a digital one.

If you want to buy before going to Italy, you can buy Italy eSIM from Italy-esim.com with Vodafone’s network. Explore our wide range of flexible eSIM plans for 3, 5, 7, 10, 14 and more days. Unlimited call and text options were also available. Compatible with 200+ devices including all major iPhone and Samsung models.

Leave your physical SIM behind, travel light with a digital SIM from Italy-esim.com!

7. How to Activate Vodafone SIM/eSIM in Italy?

Enabling your Italy Vodafone SIM card/eSIM is pretty simple. Depending on your chosen option, follow the relevant steps below:

7.1.How to Use Vodafone SIM Card in Italy?

Insert the order/practice code you received via email and/or SMS, your Tax Code, or your VAT number (used for subscribing to the service) to activate the SIM card of your Vodafone Station.

If you do not have the order/practice code, contact Customer Service.

7.2. How to Activate Vodafone Italy eSIM?

Vodafone Italy eSIM is equipped with a QR Code, PIN code which you can also subsequently change from your smartphone settings, and PUK. On scanning this QR code on your device, you shall be able to download the same eSIM profile on your smartphone (which would have been equivalent to inserting a physical SIM into such a device) and begin using Vodafone’s connectivity services.

  • Once you have installed your Vodafone eSIM Italy, go to your phone settings and look up your ICCD.
  • But you should look for your EID under the settings of your device after the eSIM profile is installed or even on a box of your device during first use.

Whenever there are problems during this activation period, stick to the guidelines that Vodafone provided and reach out to their customer service.

8. Italy Vodafone Call & SMS Rates

You must be aware of the call & SMS rates so that you can plan your expenditure well when using a Vodafone SIM or eSIM. Here are some standard rates for Vodafone in Italy:

Call & SMS Rates (USD) Italy
National calls to landlines $0.19 per minute
National calls to mobiles $0.19 per minute
National SMS $0.19 per SMS
International calls to landlines Starting at $0.29 per minute
International calls to mobiles Starting at $0.39 per minute
International SMS Starting at $0.19 per SMS

This is the reason why one should find out the current charges of the service providers to make calls or send text messages.

9. Useful USSD Codes for Vodafone SIM/eSIM

If you want to know how many minutes, SMS, and GB you have left:

10. How to Top-up Vodafone SIM/eSIM

This means that one needs to recharge Italy Vodafone SIM card/eSIM when the credit balance runs dry so as not to disrupt connectivity. Here’s how you can recharge your Vodafone account:

  1. Vodafone Website: Visit the official Vodafone Italy website, for instance, and top up prepaid credit with the use of a credit or debit card.
  2. Vodafone Stores: Also, you may go to a nearby Vodafone shop, for it has diverse means of payment including mobile money that can be easily used in recharging for your prepaid phone credit.
  3. Recharge Vouchers: Now you can buy a recharge voucher from numerous authorized resellers in Italy and add more credit to your account.
  4. By phone: To top up in Italy, call 190 from your Vodafone phone. 

Please always try to check your credit balance and recharge in advance so as not to affect services.

11. FAQs about Vodafone in Italy

Q: Can I use my Italy Vodafone SIM card or eSIM outside of Italy?

A: Yes, Vodafone offers international roaming services, allowing you to use your SIM card or eSIM in many countries worldwide. However, roaming charges apply, so it’s important to check the rates and activate an appropriate plan before traveling outside of Italy.

Q: What should I do if I lose my Vodafone SIM card or eSIM?

A: If you lose your Vodafone SIM card or eSIM, contact Vodafone customer support immediately to report the loss and request a replacement. They will guide you through the necessary steps to ensure your account’s security and assist with obtaining a new SIM card or reactivating your eSIM on a new device.

Q: Can I keep my Italian Vodafone number after leaving Italy?

A: If you wish to keep your Italian Vodafone number after leaving Italy, you may be able to do so depending on your specific circumstances. Contact Vodafone customer support for detailed information and assistance.

Does Vodafone support eSIM in Italy?

Yes, Vodafone Italy does support eSIM, however, getting an eSIM directly from Vodafone may be more complex for tourists/short-term visitors due to verification requirements. It may be easier for tourists to purchase an eSIM plan through an eSIM provider instead.

What is the best SIM card to use in Italy?

One of the largest and most recommended mobile operators in Italy is Vodafone. Vodafone offers reliable nationwide 4G/LTE/5G coverage. Vodafone generally has better data speeds in major cities. Getting a prepaid Italy Vodafone SIM card is a good choice.

12. Final Words

Vodafone SIM cards and eSIMs allow connectivity while traveling around Italy. It offers great coverage, fast speeds, and plans for easy communication. Activation is simple via SIM or eSIM. Check rates, top-up options, and USSD codes for a pleasant experience. With Vodafone in Italy, you’ll feel assured of connectivity wherever you go.