Rent a Cell Phone or MiFi for Italy

Frustrated with other mobile options while traveling in Italy (I’ve wracked up those iPhone data charges, even when I have been cautious), on my most recent trip to Italy, I decided to test out the options offered by Cellular Abroad.

I opted to buy an Italian cell phone (really a GSM phone with an Italian SIM card) from Cellular Abroad. The phone I bought in Italy in 2006 was lost in a move. For those who don’t travel to Italy as frequently as I do, there is also an Italian cell phone rental option. I also rented an Italy MiFi device, providing mobile WiFi access nearly everywhere and UNLIMITED DATA (iPhone users, you know how important this is!) for one price to use with up to five devices.

My experience was impressive:

+ cell phone instructions, prompts, live customer service were all in English
+ cell phone charges (initial credit was $26 for 28 international or 112 local minutes) were reasonable especially when reloading at a location in Italy( €0.35/min for to U.S. & Canada and  €0.09/min outgoing in Italy) and incoming calls as well as voicemail were free
+ minutes could be added to the cell phone before I left the U.S., by contacting Cellular Abroad from Italy, texting a code on the phone or by purchasing a voucher (option with best rates) at various locations in Italy
+ the MiFi allowed me to use my iPhone for surfing, roaming, posting photos as much as I wanted to without worrying about data usage
+ the MiFi meant I didn’t need to pay for wireless anywhere or go through a hotel front desk to set up access

Read my detailed review of Cellular Abroad’s services