Phone Services in Italy

Public telephones are virtually impossible to find throughout Italy. About 90% of the Italian population owns one or more cellphones and therefore public phones are now a thing of the past.

We strongly recommend you to bring your own GSM cellphone or buy one at your arrival at the airport. Then you only need to buy an Italian SIM card (i.e. the actual phone card you will be using) and enjoy the Italian cellphone system.

Italian telephone numbers can include 4, 5, 6, 7, or even 8 digits, so don't automatically assume you have the wrong number if it looks strange. Also, a great many Italian phone exchanges have added a digit during the past few years, so you may get a message advising you of this or, more likely, the number simply won't work. If you're lucky, the new number will be listed with information (dial 12).

It is mandatory to dial the area code (see below) EVEN IF you are dialing a local number. All area codes start with "0" except those for cell phones, which never have a "0" and usually start with "3".

Emergency calls. The Italian equivalent of 911 is 113. Theoretically, there should be an English-speaking person available whenever you dial this number. But remember, it's for emergencies, not for information.

Long distance calls between all cities can be dialed directly by using the proper area code number. Calls to all foreign countries can be dialed directly (dial 00 + country code + area code + phone number).


To use your own long-distance carrier's phone card: By dialing 172-1011 via AT&T or 172-1022 via MCI or 172-1877 via US SPRINT from any phone in Rome - Milan - Florence - Naples - Venezia - Torino - Catania - Vicenza - Livorno - Olbia - Bologna - Brindisi - Cosenza - Formia - Genova - Latina - Padova - Palermo - Perugia - Pescara - Pordenone - Pisa - Trieste, and almost all hotel phones elsewhere, you can place a direct call to the U.S. by reversing the charges or using your own long-distance carrier's phone card. When calling from pay telephones, just insert your phone card. You automatically reach an operator in the country of destination, thus avoiding all language problems. If you have another long-distance carrier, be sure to call them before leaving home and get your access number for Italy and any other countries you may be visiting. Canada can be reached by dialing 172-1001.


For the Italian White Pages, click here.

For the Italian Yellow Pages, click here.