Using Skype to make free (or nearly free) phone calls in Italy
Use Skype to call Italy for just 7¢ per minute
I suggest using a service like Skype to call Italy (or anywhere in the world) from your computer for just 7¢ per minute(8¢ to an Italian cellphone).
That’s the cost to dial a land line anywhere. They call it Pay As You Go, or PAYG (used to be “Skype Out.”) Add to that a 4.9¢ connection fee per call (8.9¢ connection fee to an Italian mobile number).
Even better, all calls to other Skype users are free. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Niente. It costs exactly $0.00 to make a Skype-to-Skype call.
- • $4.99/month unlimited plan to Italy
- $8.99/month unlimited plan to call 20 European countries
- $13.99/month unlimited plan to up to 60 countries
- Incremental plans: cheapskates can also buy monthly minutes: $1.19/month for 120 min., $3.99 for 400 min.
(I find I have to top it off with $10 only every 6–8 months or so—and I call abroad a lot for my work.)
Another idea: get an Italian cellphone and have your friends and family back home use Skype to call you (though that will bump you up to the cellphone fee of 8¢ per minute).
Use Skype to call home from Italy for free (if “home” has a computer; otherwise, again: only 7¢ per minute to call a land line)
I used to spend hundreds of dollars a year on international calling plans and phone cards, which, for a monthly fee (usually $35), would allow me to call home for 5¢ per minute—plus a $5 connection fee on each call.
Now I make video calls home as often as I want—and it doesn’t cost me a single penny.
I use Skype on my laptop and smartphone and WiFi (either free-ranging hotspots, or at my hotels) to make free video calls back home.
Your intrepid reporter Skypes home using his laptop and a stray WiFi signal by a canal in Venice .This has been a lifesaver, especially now that I have young children (we can see and talk to each other almost every day, even when Daddy is over in Italy working; I can even read them bedtime stories.)
Again, it’s free to Skype someone else using Skype (it’s how my kids video chat with their grandparents regularly).
So if you are using Skype—either on your laptop or handheld, or from an Internet cafe, many of which have stations with earphone/mic headsets set aside for just this purpose—and your loved ones at home also have Skype installed on their computers, all “calls” are free.
If you use Skype to call back to the United States or Canada, the cost is even lower—2.3¢ per minute.
I love Skype.
Tips & links
- Cybercafes in Italy
- Finding WiFi hotspots in Italy
- On using phones in Italy
- Cellphones in Italy
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