Since a while, there is free WiFi access in many public parks in and around Rome. All WiFi hotspots are neatly indicated with signs:
Encouraging effort to bridge the digital divide, if any left in Italy. Maybe there are also other divides to be addressed... When accessing the WiFi spot from a mobile phone, you are neatly prompted with a login screen:
Hmmm. Username and password, hey? Boh.. as it says (in Italian): registration is for free, so let's give it a try:
Holy Mo! That is a quite a chunk of data.. You need to give your name, address, mobile phone number, and of course endorse the terms and conditions which are neatly outlined (in Italian):
At that point, I gave up trying to register via my mobile phone.
Once back at home, I registered from my computer. Well, almost, as after filling in the form, you are prompted to confirm your registration by calling a toll-free number. You have to call it from the cellphone you registered. And you have five minutes.
So going outside, waiting for the mobile coverage to come up, I dialed the number. Which was engaged. Which was engaged again. Which was engaged once more. Which was engaged again. Which kept on being engaged.
Of course the five minutes deadline came sooner than expected, and I had to register again.
At that point I gave up. Maybe free WiFi access is not something for me.
Read more in the Living in Italy series