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Communications in Florence are just as simple as they are in the US. High speed internet is available within SACI housing, in the SACI facilities and in many other locations spread across the city: writing home has never been easier! Please keep in mind that that Internet connection in Italy is not as powerful as in the US, and the connections in the apartments may not be as strong for a certain periods of time. If you experience a problem, please notify the SACI Florence staff, who will communicate with the landlord and the phone company. Students can receive post in their specific SACI mail boxes, while parcels will be held for them at the front desk area. SACI also encourages students to purchase an Italian mobile phone (and the relative SIM card), in order to facilitate communications with other SACI students and the SACI staff.
For more exhaustive explanations and tips, click on the title of your choice.
SACI encourages students to buy or rent cell phones as an easy and affordable way to keep in touch with friends and family both here in Florence and back at home. Students can often sell back or turn in their phones at the end of their stay, or sell them to another student. Locations, rates and offers change quickly, but this information should help you get started.
When buying or renting a phone, many students choose one with a pre-paid card (scheda telefonica ricaricabile). Every time you make a call, money will be deducted from the card until it is used up. You can then recharge it before your credit runs out by buying another pre-paid card from a bar or cell phone dealer. Make sure to buy a card issued by the correct company for your phone. You can also set up a billing contract, and the store that sells or rents to you will explain its system and fees.
Italy’s main operators are: Vodafone, TIM, Tre, and Wind. Although all phones should be able to make and receive international phone calls, you might want to double check with the vendor your ability to communicate internationally before buying or renting the phone. In general, it does not cost anything to receive calls within Italy on these cell phones.
Cell Phone Dealers
Following are the 4 main operators with a list of some of their stores in Florence. Visit their web sites or stores, compare prices and customer service, and take your pick.
Via De` Martelli 25-29 - 055/2670121 – 055/2654249
Via Pietrapiana 84 R
Via Pietrapiana, 57R – 055/2346827
Via Santa Caterina da Siena 5-7/R – 055/2654378
Piazza della Stazione, 14 Gal. Com.le – 055/2349510
Via Nazionale 80/82r – 055/285476
Via dei Calzaiuoli 114/118 – 055/2396066
Borgo S. Lorenzo 45/49r – 055/294271
Piazza della Stazione Galleria dei Servizi 14 055/2657841
Via De’ Martelli 20/R – 055/215526
Via Santa Caterina da Siena 17 – 055/2302773
To call outside of Italy dial:
00 + Country code + Area code + Number
To call the USA directly from a Florence phone dial:
To call a land line (such as SACI) directly from the USA:
To call a cell phone directly from the USA:
011-39-3xx xxxx… (City area codes are not needed when calling cell phones.)
Direct Service Numbers in Italy:
AT&T 800 172 444
MCI 800 172 401 or 800 905 825
Sprint 800 172 405
There are computers available for e-mail and internet research in both SACI buildings. Students may also choose to bring their own laptops - preferably with wireless capability. Wireless access is available in the main building and at the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts for computers with operating systems compatible with WIFI 802.11b/g/n. Ethernet cable connections to the SACI network are available in the library at Palazzo dei Cartelloni. Wifi is provided in all SACI apartments.
Please note that you are required to have an updated version of an anti-virus software installed in your laptop. Ensure that your laptop is functioning and configured properly before bringing it to Italy. SACI will help you set up wireless access, but does not provide technical assistance for laptop computers. For computer repairs, try Essedi Shop, Via Datini 9/R (bus no. 23 A or B), hours: Tuesday-Friday 9 am - 1 pm, 3:30-7:30 pm; Saturday 9 am to 1 pm. Tel. 055-6810824.
You may wish to open an account at one of the many internet shops in Florence. Use your SACI student I.D. card, as you may get a discount.
The following is a selection of some of our favourite coffee bars that offer free WI-FI internet access:
- La Citè Libreria, Borgo San Frediano 20r
- Moyo, Via dei Benci 23r
- SO, Largo Piero Bargellino 2 (Santa Croce area)
- BRAC, Via dei Vagellai 18r (Santa Croce area)
- Caffetteria delle Oblate, Via Oriuolo 26
- Caffé Sant'Ambrogio, Piazza S. Ambrogio 7
- Cafè Deluxe, Piazza Indipendenza (corner of Via XXVII Aprile)
- Il Rifrullo, Via S. Niccolò 55r
- Internet Train (www.internettrain.it) :Via dell'Oriuolo, 40r (Duomo) Tel. 055 2638968; Via dei Benci 30r (Piazza Santa Croce) Tel. 055-263855; Via Guelfa 24/a (Train Station) Tel. 055-214794; Borgo San Jacopo 30r (Pontevecchio) Tel. 055-2657935; Via Giacomini 9 (Piazza Savonarola) Tel. 055-5520402; Via Zannoni 1r (San Lorenzo) Tel. 055-2645284; Borgo La Croce 33r (Piazza Beccaria) Tel. 055 2347852; Via Porta Rossa 38r ("Il Porcellino") Tel. 055 2741037; Galleria Commerciale (inside Train Station) Tel. 055 2399720; Via Santa Monaca 6/7r (Piazza del Carmine) Tel. 055 2608880
- IntoTheWeb, Via de'Conti, 22r (near SACI) Tel. 055 2645628
- Mondial Net Firenze, Via de' Ginori 59r (near SACI) Tel. 055 2657584
- YVO – Your Virtual Office, Via Faenza 49r, Tel. 055 2645560
- La Chat, Via Ghibellina, 98r (Santa Croce) Tel. 055 2466472
Letters to SACI students will be placed in the specific student mailboxes within the SACI Palazzo dei Cartelloni building. Students may also receive packages, but please read the information below regarding Italian customs.
Please be advised that almost all packages mailed from the US will be subject to Italian customs inspection and duties. In order to avoid paying a tax on the value declared, please ask friends and relatives sending you packages from home to claim "personal items" of a value less than 20 euros.
In addition, please note that the following items will automatically a) get stuck at customs, b) be subject to inspection, c) require special paperwork and payment of a tax in order to get released:
- prescription drugs
- over-the-counter drugs
- vitamins, chewing gum, and energy drinks/bars
- any cosmetic item (that includes shampoos, lotions, make-up and toothpaste!)
For more information about receiving packages and custom regulations, please ask at SACI's front desk.