Telephones, Italy, Italy (Photo by unknown)

How to make phone calls to and within Italy

The country code for Italy is 39.

Note that Italian phone numbers can have anywhere from 3 to 12 digits.

How to call Italy from another country

If you are calling Italy from another country, you must

  1. Dial your international dialing prefix: 011 for the U.S. and Canada; 00 for most other countries.
  2. Dial the country code: 39
  3. Dial the Italian phone number, leaving off the initial 0. That "zero" is the trunk code, and is only necessary when calling another number from within Italy itself. This is why I put it in parentheses on this site; it is situationally optional.

So, to call the local Rome number listed as "(0)6-1234-5678" from the U.S., you would dial 011-39-6-1234-5678.

How to make a phone call within Italy

  1. Dial the Italian phone number, including the initial 0.

So, to call the local Rome number (0)6-1234-5678 from, say, Florence, you would dial all ten digits: 06-1234-5678.

How do I use pay phones in Italy?

To use one of the (slowly vanishing) pay phones to make a call in Italy, you have to buy a telecarte (phone card) from a tabacchi (tobacco shops, usually marked by a white "T" on a brown rectangular sign).

If you use a credit card at a payphone, the cost goes up considerably. 

Honestly, it is now far more convenient and cheap to put your own cell phone in airplane mode, then turn on WiFi and connect at one of the many free WiFi zones around town to use Skype.

How to make a phone call from Italy to another country

  1. Dial the Italian international dialing prefix: 00.
  2. Dial the country's country code: 1 for the U.S./Canada, 61 for Australia, 64 for New Zealand, etc.
  3. Dial the local number, including the local area code or city code.

So to call the local U.S. number 215-555-1212 from Rome, you would dial 00-1-215-555-1212. (Though, unless you actually need directory assistance for the city of Philadelphia, you should probably call a different number.)

City codes, mobile prefixes, and other Italian phone number quirks 

Most Rome telephone numbers start with 06, followed by an eight-digit number.

06 is Rome's old "geographic code"—sometimes called a "city code." Italy had dozens and dozens of these—plus a few for cell phones, toll free calls, etc. Since this former "city code" is now part and parcel of every phone number, you don't technically need to know them, bit it can help you figure out where a random number is located. Here are a few:

Then there are the special number prefixes:

  • 3xx  - Mobile phones
  • 80  - Toll free (numero verde)
  • 84  - Shared rate
  • 89  - Premium rate
  • 7  - Non-geographic number (used by VoIP services)

Those 800 numbers are (toll free) numbers, and cost nothing to the customer to call from within Italy (though these can be tricky to dial from abroad).

Emergency numbers links