eSIM vs SIM cards at FCO/Roma Termini?

I’m deciding between bringing my phone (not eSim compatible) and another phone (eSim compatible) to Europe with me. Both are unlocked. I’m leaning toward just bringing my phone and getting a physical sim at FCO/Roma Termini since prices don’t seem to be THAT different between eSim and sim. I’ve read the prices can be significantly different between booths at Termini and FCO, though.

I’ll primarily be using my data to navigate, so I don’t anticipate using a lot (traveling for 25 days). Typically in a billing cycle I use 10-12GB, but that’s because I have unlimited in the U.S. and I use my phone a lot. I think I can get away with using maybe 5GB + topping up since I can use wifi to make international calls/send pictures through Facebook Messenger.

I’m just wondering if anyone has any recent experiences with any of the SIM providers (from what I read, TIM, Windtre, and Vodafone – Iliad won’t work for me since I’m also going to 3 other EU countries). The latest reviews I could find were glaringly negative and apparently sometimes didn’t even work at all, but I do understand that most people who have a good experience don’t bother leaving reviews.

Thanks for any input!


  1. I think at the moment TIM is the only one offering a tourist package with roaming. Wind wasn’t offering roaming and Vodafone seems to have killed off their tourist offer.

    The normal non tourist SIMs are more and more requiring longer term commitments from buyers. But you could see if anybody would sell you one.

    The shops at Termini are I think all company stores.

  2. The tourist package is 15GB. But if the OP is using Google maps they can download the maps before leaving home. Just directions take almost no data.

  3. Pack a lot of patience when you go to the TIM store in Roma Termini. Take a number and wait for your turn.

    The agents and the customers who were already talking to agents seemed to take their time to discuss various things (in Italian, so I did not understand what was taking them so long) to make a decision.

    Of course, you may be lucky to walk in at a time when there is an agent free to help you right away.

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