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Some cute older payphone pix from Italy sent in by Paolo Favaretti.Click here for full series. IPM Italy payphone Mafia message.....
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Very modern phone booth in Rome
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IPM Italy payphone Booth in village 1999-TUO Indoor payphone
Special Mention - Design Preis Schweiz
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riot police lurking behind.....
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DESIGNED FROM GIUGIARO NEW PAYPHONE TELECOM ITALY "Digito" is called the public telephone of new generation that Telecom has installed in the Italian cities. Planned from the Giugiaro Design, it is the fruit of a careful search that conjugates high technology to a winning design; it has an elegant shape and modern design to the characteristics of solidity and robustness, indispensable in order to contrast the possible actions of vandalism. The apparatus (that uses ISDN technology ) is equipped of a fixed part for the cards and of an other for the coins; in the frontal zone it has wide display and a keyboard that, beyond with the common functions, concurs to converse with the portable computers; the microtelephone is inserted in a lateral niche and, thought in an ignited tonality of red, it represents also an allegro decorative element. Digito is a innovation in the field of the public telephony also for the flexible modalities of payment: it will be able to be paid, in fact, it is with it puts into effect to them to weave them telephone magnetic, it is with the new instruments soon available, that is endowed weaving of microchip and the credit cards. The Giugiaro Design is always expanding more the own area than infuence; through the recent agreement signed with the Guangzhou Motors Group, factory of motorcycles of the province of Guangdong, in fact, shows oneself on the Chinese market. And in order it is introduced better also has renewed completely the just situated one: a business card in perfect business style that it offers, between the other, images of the creativity, information on the new plans, the main customers?
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These phones were like robots from '60's shows! 1994 IPM Italy payphone
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1987 IPM Italy payphone Hands-free trial from '60s. Booth for disabled

The telephone is a large part of Italian life, particularly with the advent of the cell phone. Most Italians, including many children, now have cell phones, which are relatively inexpensive. In addition, there are public phones everywhere, which are activated solely by telephone cards (purchased from a card dispenser, a newsstand or a tabacchi). All coin-operated public phones have disappeared since the advent of the Euro.

Visitors should be aware that calls made from traditional home phones can be quite expensive, and the home phone bill is not delineated call by call, so reimbursement is difficult. Although a host will politely allow a visitor to use the home phone, the visitor should do so rarely and then should keep the call as short as possible. A visitor should chat on cell phones or from a pay phone and not from a host's home.

One answers the telephone by saying Pronto, which literally means "ready". After saying hello, one should introduce oneself by name before asking for the person to whom one wishes to speak. It is appropriate to use the formal "you" form of address (third person singular or plural) when speaking with either parents or someone at the end of the phone who is a stranger. One frequently uses terms of formal address even when one knows the adult answering the phone


Sophisticated in the sturdy design and in the structure, the Albacom telephones accept the Italian coins, the main foreign coins (predisposition for the Euro), the telephone cards Albacom from 5,000 L. and L. the 10,000 (first cards with micro chip in Italy).
The management at a distance, through the center of Albacom control, reduces lessened the swindle risk and guarantees one service continuity.

Telephone card for telephones Albacom publics

1.       To insert the card in the direction of the arrow with the microchip turned towards the high.

2.       To use the card solo from the telephones Albacom publics

3.       To control on display the credit to your disposition and to compose the wished telephone number

Rotor 2000
(to right)

Rotor 2000 is the generation of finishes them telephone publics develops to you from IPM with Albacom on the base of beyond 12 years of research and development. The innovative ingegneristiche solutions are fruit of great experience BT Payphone, protagonist of the telecommunicationses in Great Britain and in a position to supplying decidedly advanced performances.

Rotor 2000 offers simple and diversified modality to you of payment: Italian currency, main foreign coins, telephone cards Albacom and the greater credit cards . Rotor 2000 possesses moreover multiple keys function (volume, chosen of the language, repetition last number, resumption line without riagganciare, called for attendance).

Rotor 2000 is indicated also for external atmospheres does not watch, because equipped of a structure antivandalismo to you and sophisticated systems antiswindle.


E' the telephone World Wide Web (WWW), the public telephone of the future of IPM and Albacom that concurs also the access with Internet.

This happens in simple and fast way with one interface of type "Touch Screen": touching the hyperlink visualized the browsing can be carried out.
The access to the Internet services can happen through a whichever Provider.

Webphone, for its small dimensions, particularly is indicated in all inner atmospheres.


Range APOLLO of Albacom consists in one series of modular lodgings for telephones publics, to the vanguard for flexibility and praticit�. Draft therefore of one telephone structure to high quality and of innovative design, studied for a better service with many advantages in more.

Apollo 1 for inner

Apollo is studied for whichever customer, included the disabili. A single illuminated panel offers to all the information on the Albacom service.

The cabins, the modular structure (single, double or personalized unit), are in stainless steel, rifinite in the minimums details and very illuminated for an easy and sure use.

Espalier walls them

The espalier walls represents them the support more agile and simple to install.
It does not have pedestal, but it can be applied directly to the wall.

In the advanced part it has a panel to you wrap illuminated.
Of easy installation, the espalier walls them is ideal for narrow spaces and inner atmospheres.



The cabin sluice highly introduces an innovative design beyond supplying numerous intelligent solutions.

The cabins sluices are very isolated acoustic and offer the maximum of the privacy, are equipped of a small seat in order to allow the persons conversare in way much comfortable one and have a system of lighting system in a position to increasing the comfort during the telephone call.

The cabins and the telephones moreover are supplied of sophisticated structures antivandalismo and modern systems antiswindle.

Apollo 2 for exteriors

E' the Apollo version for external atmospheres.

To the characteristics of Apollo 1, to the roof and the lateral cover join in order to offer shelter from rain, wind or sun.



You need a phone card to use payphones in Italy. These can be purchased at most tobacco stores and bars. They are in denominations of lire - I have only seen 5,000 and 10,000 - and are only valid for two or three years from date of purchase (an expiry date is printed on them).

To use the card, snap off the perforated corner. The card shown to the right has the corner snapped off. This allows it to fit into the slot on the phone and "activates" the card. When you purchase a card, be sure the corner is not snapped off - this way you know the card has not been used.

Most telephones in Italy need phone cards (see above). Insert the card into the phone (in that slot to the right of the top of the receiver) and the screen at the top of the phone tells you how much lire you have left on the card. Make your call and watch it count down through the lire. When you hang up the card comes out the slot at the bottom of the phone.

Some of the new phones have a panel above the phone explaining in English how to use the phone. It shows which cards can be used, where they are sold, and lists emergency numbers.


The first official Italian telephone tokens appeared in the first half of the 20th century and in Italy the 
STIPEL (Societ� Telefonica Interregionale Piemontese e Lombarda) introduced the first telephone tokens to the 
Fair of Milan in 1927. The experiment with little public phones for city telephone calls worked with tokens of 
three grooves, at the cost of 60 cts of lira. The success of the experiment made that the public phones were 
multiplied and in the years succeeding the TIMO (Societ� Telefoni Medio Orientale) and the TELVE (Societ� 
Telefonica delle Venezie) imitated the STIPEL. The TETI (Telefonica Tirrena) began from 1930 to introduce 
public phones working with coins of 50 cts. In 1935 the TETI changed to coin tokens made of aluminum and 
subsequently of zinc of the dimensions of the currency coins and without grooves. During 1945 the TETI unified 
itself to the other societies with a token with three grooves. The fifth company that coined telephone tokens 
in Italy was the SET (Societ� Esercizi Telefonici) in the south of Italy. The tokens issued in this period 
belong to the "first period" of Italian telephone tokens. After a telephonic reform, when monopoly incumbent 
SIP joined all the previous telephone companies, the public phones were standardized and the ESM company 
(Emilio Senesi Medaglie, Milan), began to coin regular telephone tokens for of Italy. From August of 1959 the 
ESM, added the group year-month, so could be distinguished the time. The four figures indicate the year and 
the month of coinage. As an example, 5909 indicates that the token has been coined in September 1959. This 
kind of token was coined till March 1972 with 122 different dates. Those tokens belong to the "second period". 
Subsequently, increasing the number of the public phones, also the IPM (Industria Politecnica Meridionale in 
Arzano, Naples), CMM (Costruzioni Minuterie Metalliche, Santagata Catania) and the UT (Urmet Costruzioni 
Elettrotelefoniche Turin) began to coin tokens until November 1980, last one known (IPM 8011). They coined the 
tokens with the manufacturers' logo in addition to the year/month group. In the 1970s telephone tokens ended 
up substituting standard coins of the same 200 lire denomination. In 1972 one token was manufactured for each 
Italian; by 1978 there were seven tokens produced per head of population. Between 1927 and 1980, the year when 
tokens ceased to be manufactured and the first dual-function phonecard/token telephones were introduced, a 
total of around 600 million tokens were issued in Italy. On 31 December 2001 the telephone token was finally, 
definitively taken out of circulation. 

THANKS TO Marco Fiumani!