The STD area code (beginning with a ‘0’) is an integral part of the phone number in Italy, and must always be used. The leading zero is not dropped when calling from outside Italy.
To make a call from Italy, you need to dial: 00 + Country Code + City Code + Local Number.
If your relatives living abroad want to call you while you are in Italy, they will need to dial: 00 + 39 + City Code + Local Number.
Calling abroad from Italy has the same cost regardless of the time of day – only the country or device you’re calling determines the cost. If it’s a mobile phone number you’re calling, doing it from Telecom Italia can be very expensive.
International calling fee zones
In Italy, all countries are divided into seven international calling fee zones. This means that you pay different rates depending on the group of countries you call. The exact countries in any given zone vary among providers. However, European countries are always included in Zone 1.
Usually the calls from a mobile phone to countries included in Zone 1 cost between 0, 30 and 0, 50 euro per minute. If you call a Zone 2 country, you can expect a charge of 2 euro per minute. Remember that the connection fee can be between 0, 12 or 0, 15 euro, depending on whether you call a mobile or a fixed line (independent of the zone you’re calling). International calls to mobiles are more expensive than calls to fixed numbers.
Per-minute charges levied by Telecom Italia can go from 0, 18 to 3, 16 euro if you call a fixed phone and from 0, 40 to 3, 60 euro if you’re calling a mobile (not including the connection charge of 0, 30 euro). To reduce these rates, Telecom Italia offers a special package called Teleconomy International. For a monthly rate of 10 euro you can call fixed numbers abroad in Zone 1 (all countries in Western Europe) whenever you want with no limits.
International calls are always expensive, and Italy is no different. Even if you use an alternative fixed provider, the charges can be expensive. To make a cheap call abroad, you might use international prepaid calling cards with your normal fixed phone or mobile.