Every year I go to Italy and the last few years, I have simply put one of the TIM data SIM cards into my iPad from Cellular Abroad, the company that I founded well over 10 years ago. This time, I asked someone in our company that is in another department to set up my iPad, someone who has a different job description than setting up SIM cards (I didn’t want to bother the tech department as it was a very busy day). Low and behold, when I arrived in Italy, the iPad wasn’t recognizing the SIM. Apparently, it was cut incorrectly. I went to the TIM store and, after waiting in line for a while, they told me that I needed a new SIM card. I could get a replacement but I had to have the serial number of the SIM, which I didn’t have. Had I had it, they could have given me a replacement for a small fee. Since I didn’t have it, I just said I would buy a new SIM. They asked for my codice fiscale, which is like a social security number. Anyone can get this online. It can be generated for free in 10 seconds by going to www.codicefiscale.com. They asked for a document so I gave them my driver’s license but unfortunately, they needed a passport, which I didn’t have with me.
Moral of the story, yes, you can certainly get a data SIM card directly in Italy but it is a bit of a hassle to do so, despite the fact that I speak Italian like an Italian. And this is why we have so many customers that purchase an Italian data SIM card from Cellular Abroad.