Once you have identified your home and have closed the rental or purchase agreement, one of the first things that you will want to set up is a telephone line.
You can choose from a variety of phone services, from the "traditional" analog phone line, to ISDN, to (in some cities) ADSL. And to these, there are a number of additional (i.e. long distance) services that can be added on. For each of these services, there are a number of providers to choose from. The main telephone company in Italy is (you guessed it!) Telecom Italia Remember that phones from the USA do not work in Italy. One of the main differences is that in Italy, you do not have a normal dial tone. Just pick up any phone, listen for a second or two, and you'll see what I mean. When starting out, it's probably easier to start with Telecom Italia - it's the more "established" service. They are not the cheapest, but if you later decide to switch, the competition will go out of their way to make it easy to switch - sometimes too easy - there have been cases of when people get called, and without knowing it, sign up for a different company. You can either call their service center at "187" or sign up over the internet. To sign up over the internet, use their sales site, 187.it. Since the site is in Italian, and you are required to create a login password to be able to order, etc, you are probably better off calling in with an Italian-speaking colleague. To sign up, you will need:
- Full name
- Fiscal Code
- The exact address where the line will be installed.
- A phone number at which you can be reached.
- The type of service you want (analog, ISDN, ADSL)
In addition, you can specify:
- how many extensions you require
- any supplementary telephone services you want (such as special tariff packages)
- the model name and color of the phone set(s) that you would like (the categories are to the left), and which will be delivered to your home a couple of days before the line is activated. (assuming you prefer to rent - but you are probably better of buying a phone at the local electronics shop and saving a bundle).
- whether or not you want to be listed in the phone book
In a matter of minutes, they will tell you what your new phone number will be, and shortly thereafter their technical staff will call you to make an appointment with you for the installation. Expect to be set back 150 Euros for the installation. For analog lines, you will find that Italian phone jacks are different from those in other European countries (or the USA for that matter). They look like this:
Your phone jacks will work here though. If you note in the photo on the left above, you can insert an R11 jack into the three pronged jack and the insert that into the socket.