Coin-operated telephones have become almost obsolete in Italy. You can still find a few of these old-world contraptions here and there, but you'll have much more luck finding public phones that take the scheda telefonica. These plastic cards are sold in denominations of € 3.00, € 5.00, and € 7.75, and are available in tabacchis, post offices, most newsstands, and some bars. You'll need to break off the perforated corner of the card before you can use it. Remember that even the local calls are timed, so if you are using coins, be sure to put enough money in. A short local call is usually € 0.10 - € 0.21.
Note: Phone calls to land lines within Italy are quite inexpensive, but beware of numbers that start with 338, 335, 339, 349, 347, 368, 333, 388, 393 etc. If you dial one of these, you are calling a telefonino (cell phone), and even a two-minute conversation will drain your telephone card of all its credit!
International calls can be made at any public telephone box, either using an Italian card or your own calling/credit card.
To place direct international calls you must dial the following sequence:
00 + country code + area code + local number
Here is a list of some country codes:
Collect call numbers
You can also place collect or credit card calls by calling the operator in your own country:
» Postal Services
Letters and postcards
Postage costs depend on the country of destination and weight. Postage for standard weight international postcards and letters varies between € 0.50 and € 1.00.
Stamps can be bought at post offices as well as at tabacchis, which have longer opening hours and are much more numerous than post offices. Letters can be posted in any of the red post boxes mounted on walls around the city. Unless you're sending something to an address within Rome, use the slot marked "Per tutte le altre destinazioni."
If you want to send an uninsured parcel, go to the post office at Via Cavour, 277, near the Forum (open Mon-Fri 8:30am-2pm, Sat 8:30-1pm) or Via Milano, 10, off Via Nazionale (same hours). If you want to send an uninsured parcel go to th post office at Via Monterone, 1, near Piazza Venezia (open Mon-Fri 8:20am-12:20pm) or the office at Piazza San Silvestro, 12, in the historical center (open Mon-Fri 8:30-6:30, Sat 8:30-1pm)