|Subject: Re: Renting a Cell phone in Europe|
Last year in the small town of Umbertide (Italy) in a cell phone shop
one could rent a phone for $7.50/day for a short period, $5/day for a
longer time; I forget if the cutoff was a week or ten days. On top
of that one needed to buy a prepaid card for usage at a minimum of
$25. Since I didn't rent one, I don't know if there was setup charge
for a number or if the number carried from one renter to the next.
If a store in a bigger city offers them, I expect they'd want a
security deposit. There are nationwide area codes for cell phones;
they'll work all over Italy.
While it's easy to make calls using pay phones and a prepaid card, a cell phone is certainly handy for receiving calls. Someone who had previously stayed in our house bought a used phone and I looked forward to having that convenience for keeping up with old friends in this area where we once lived. We made short use of it before it stopped working and all the stores said it was so outdated that the battery could not be replaced (strange to hear as it was about the first time I'd handled a cell phone). Once we established this, it was so close to the end of our stay we didn't get another phone. Even if we didn't have social contacts in the area, a good phone would have been useful for learning when my lost luggage was found, and for dealing with the rental car breaking down.