To make a call from Italy, you need to dial: 00 + Country Code + City Code + Local Number
If your relatives living abroad want to call you while you are in Italy, they will need to dial: 00 + 39 + City Code + Local Number
If you want to be sure of the local, national or international prefix you need to dial before the number of the customer you want to call, you can consult http://www.countrycallingcodes.com/. It provides information about prefixes and even the local time of the country you are calling.
Calling abroad from Italy has the same cost regardless of the time of day – only the country or device you're calling determines the cost. If it's a mobile phone number you're calling, doing it from Telecom Italia can be very expensive.
International calling zones
In Italy, all countries are divided into seven international calling fee zones. This means that you pay different rates depending on the group of countries you call. The exact countries in any given zone vary among providers. However, European countries are always included in Zone 1.
Usually the calls from a mobile phone to countries included in Zone 1 cost between 0,30 and 0,50€ per minute. If you call a Zone 2 country, you can expect a charge of 2€ per minute. Remember that the connection fee can be between 0,12 or 0,15€, depending on whether you call a mobile or a fixed line (independent of the zone you're calling). International calls to mobiles are more expensive than calls to fixed numbers.
Per-minute charges levied by Telecom Italia can go from 0,18 to 3,16€ if you call a fixed phone and from 0,40 to 3,60€ if you're calling a mobile (not including the connection charge of 0,30€). To reduce these rates, Telecom Italia offers a special package called Teleconomy International. For a monthly rate of 10€, you can call fixed numbers abroad in Zone 1 (all countries in Western Europe) whenever you want with no limits.
International calling plans
Some mobile telephony providers dedicate some special international plans to call abroad where you pay a fixed monthly fee for minute bonuses. For example, Wind offers “CallYourCountry”, which allows you to call a country at reduced fees. Vodafone has a “Free International” plan which gives you a lot of minutes at the national rate.
Fastweb's connection charge is 0,20€ and when you make a call you can pay from 0,17€ if you call a Zone 1 country. You can pay as much as 7,45€ per minute if you call a Zone 7 number (these are satellite numbers like Euro Sat, Globalstar, GMSS, Inmarsat, Iridium, Servizio Emsat).
TeleTu offers a package which waives the Telecom Italia standing charge and includes free local and national calls. On this plan, you are charged a 0,15€ international connection fee and variable international charges from 0,12 to 1,10€ per minute (depending on the country you're calling).
VoIP services in Italy
Using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, you can call fixed and mobile phone numbers abroad using the internet. The most known and used VoIP provider in Italy is Skype. You can easily call abroad if you have an internet connection and Skype software installed in your PC.
The only constraint is that you must have an internet connection, so many people must use their PCs. However, if you have internet-capable mobiles such an iPhone, you can make calls over Skype.
Skype fees are very cheap and one of the cheapest ways to call abroad, but they change depending on the country you're calling. You can choose a Skype plan that allows you to call one European country of your choice for only a few Euros. For a few additional Euros per month, you can call over two dozen countries worldwide.