The Travel Professor
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Making international phone calls

Here's a recent email: "Hey Travel Prof! How do I call Italy?".

An international call can be direct dialed and isn’t that much different than calling long distance in the US. What you need to is the country code, the area/city code then the local phone number. Here’s a link ( that will help you obtain the country and area/city codes.

Another important bit of information is to know what type of phone number you’re calling. Is the number a wired land line or a cell phone? You need to know this because calls to cell phones will usually cost you more than to a land line. If you can email the person/company you’re trying to contact and ask them what type of phone service you’re calling.

Once you have this info then you dial as follows:

• 011 + country code + area/city code + number

For your call to Italy (country code 39) the Italian city of Venice and local phone 555.1212 you would dial

• 011 + 39 + 041 + 555.1212 NOTE: frequently you do not have to dial the zero in the area/city code

• Here's another good website for more information and assistance:

I’ve also heard that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a free way to talk internationally. I’ve never had the occasion to use this technology but my English sister in law swears by it. She keeps in touch with family and friends in the UK and Europe using Skype. According to Miss Mary the calls she makes on Skype are free and the voice quality excellent.

I’d really like to receive feedback on Skype or other VoIP services from users. Contact