Travel Tips - Phones
Check with your cell phone operator as to what you will pay in Italy. See if you can just buy an Italian SIM card to go in your own mobile phone - that's likely to save you plenty of money. If not, consider buying a cheap phone in Italy - an unblocked phone-only mobile (not a smart phone) can be as little as $40 or so. Incoming calls will cost you nothing on such a phone, and outgoing calls will be reasonable, particularly if you explain to a salesperson that you need to call the USA (or wherever) for a short period of time.
It is probably cheaper to do this than to rent a mobile phone- and you can loan it to friends for their own trips. Remember a SIM card expires after 12 months, so loaning out the phone to people and getting them to put money on the card is one way to keep it "alive." Otherwise you can recharge it using paypal on line.
Driving with Cell Phones
You may only use cell phones while driving with a hands-free headset. If you need one, it's an "auricolare" in Italian. Otherwise, stop the car if your phone rings, or face big fines.