The Enjoy Rome guide, providing you with everything you need to know to get the most out of your trip to the Eternal City
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Calling Italy is not all that tricky to figure out. Here is what you need to know. An Italian telephone number generally looks something like this:
First, there's a zero, then there's a number (or a couple of numbers), then there's a space, then some more numbers, which may have dashes or spaces in them. Now. In an Italian telephone number (this one's the Enjoy Rome telephone number, by the way), the first set of numbers is the city code. 06 means that this number is in Rome. You always, even when in the city, dial the area code. Should you be in Rome and should you want to call up Enjoy Rome, you would march right up to the telephone and hit 06. Then, of course, you would type in the rest of the numbers. Italian telephone numbers are of variable length, and can have from three to eight digits. They're trying to standardize this. Really they are.
So when you're in Italy and you have an Italian telephone number, you dial it, including the area code, and everything's fine. Things are, of course, slightly more complicated when you're dialing from another country. Then, you have to dial first your international access code, second, the country code, and third, the city code and telephone number. Italy's country code is 39; this is commonly written as ++39. International access codes vary from country to country. In the U.S.A., this is 011. So if I wanted to call Enjoy Rome from the United States, I would dial:
011 39 06 4451843
Remember to keep the zero in the city code. People want to drop the zero. Don't drop the zero.
Once you're in Italy, you might want to call other countries in Italy. This is not very tricky at all. To get an international line, you need to dial 00; then dial your country code. The country code of the United States and Canada is 1; the country code of South Africa is 27; the United Kingdom is 44; that of Australia is 61; New Zealand is 64, and Ireland is 353. After you dial the country code, dial the local telephone number, with area code if appropriate.
Although everyone in Rome has a cellphone, there are plenty of payphones scattered around the city. While they do take coins, you'll probably need an awful lot of coins. A much better option is to buy a phone card from a tabacchi or a phone card vending-machine. Phone cards are available in denominations of L5,000, L10,000, L15,000 and occasionally higher values.