Subject: Re: ET, call home!!
Hi Lucille,

One other thing to consider would be what we did for our Italian trip last year and will do for our Paris/London trip this year. We use our own cell phone.

It did cost me an original $65 to buy a new cell phone here in the states that was both GSM and Digital. It is the only one I use now as AT& T has added enough GSM coverage here in the US that we are pretty compatible.

I used it for calls from Italy to Italy, and from Italy to US with no problem from anywhere. We had fantastic coverage even in the Sicilian Highlands near Corleone and anywhere on the autostrada between Rome and Florence.

Cost was my regular cell phone charges with a slight upcharge for roaming but it was worth it for the convenience of being able to call from anywhere for a reservation for dinner, etc.

One thing we were advised to do before we left was to turn off our voice mail feature on that phone. Otherwise it would have tried searching us down wherever we were in Europe and left us messages on the AT& T voice mail system in Europe which would have been chargeable at a much higher rate.

It was also great to know that our families (who are the only one with our number in the states) could call us whenver they wanted to.

So, if you are in the market for a new cell phone anyway, grab a GSM one and you should have coverage everywhere you go in Italy and most of the rest of Europe.

Jim & Kathleen in Redmond, WA