Expats in Italy will be able to keep in touch with people back home easily and efficiently.
Family and friends are at the centre of life in Italy, not to mention an expat's loved ones in their home country. It's therefore crucial to Italians and expats to have an open and varied communication network that makes keeping in touch in Italy easy.
Internet in Italy
Italy's internet is generally reliable and has increased in recent years and no longer lags far behind its European neighbours. One of the biggest benefits to the internet in Italy is that there are no download limits, so expats can surf and chat for as long as they like without worrying about their speed being reduced.
Popular and fast service providers are Vodafone Italy, EOLO, Telecom Italia, Fastweb, Wind, Tiscali and Linkem.
There are internet cafes and WiFi hotspots scattered around Italy and growing in number. Simply register a free account with Free Italia WiFi for access. Students will also find free WiFi around their universities while commuters with Italian phone numbers will access the internet for free on the trains.
Mobile phones in Italy
The top providers in the Italian mobile phone market are TIM (owned by Telecom Italia), Vodafone and Wind.
Some expats will be able to use their current mobile phone in Italy including those from other EU countries, although network-locked phones will first need to be unlocked.
Expats will need proof of residence and identification such as a passport to obtain an Italian SIM card. All providers offer a choice between a fixed post-paid contract or prepaid credit. For topping up on prepaid plans, recharge vouchers are available at supermarkets, tobacco shops, bars, ATMs, over the phone and online.
Italian mobile phone operators tend to offer a variety of packages. Most service providers have packages with unlimited phone calls, internet usage or messaging. Some also have special packages for people who make a lot of international calls.
Postal services in Italy
The Italian postal service is generally reliable, but it can be lackadaisical, and expats should avoid sending valuables by regular post as a precaution. Italian customs can be nonchalant, but if they do decide to stop a package, it may never be seen again. Queues at post offices are sometimes long as many people pay their monthly bills there.
English-language media in Italy
Major British and American newspapers and magazines are available at some city newsagents and English bookstores. Italian news publications in English, such as The Local, are easily accessed online but are hard to come by in print.