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Looking for GPS advice

I am interested in purchasing a GPS device for an upcoming trip to Italy. In what I've read on other postings, people generally use Tom Tom, Garmin Nuvi or Magellan, but which brand and model is best? Which is easiest to read, best battery life, best features, etc.. The ones I've seen in the stores are loaded with only US maps. How do I get Europe maps? Help.

Posted by
850 posts

The Garmin 270 and 370 have Europe maps loaded. Have not used those but those that have speak highly of them. I have the tomtom 910 which has been replaced by the 920. It worked great in Europe and I remember reading where Kent said his worked just fine in Europe also. The battery life on mine would only last a couple of hours but we kept it plugged into the charger while driving so that was not a problem. If you plan on using it while walking it could possibly be a problem. I read where the Garmin 270 or maybe 370 had a battery life of 5 hours but could not vouch for that personally.

Posted by
32244 posts


I have a Garmin Nuvi 370 and used it in the UK last fall. It worked well and really helped me a couple of times, although I'm still a bit confused on how it picks routes. I find that one has to "double check" the route sometimes, so a good Map is helpful also.

The N-370 comes with both North American and European maps. The battery life is probably 5-6 hours, but this is not a problem when traveling by Car, as one can use the Cig. Lighter power connector. The G-370 is quite small, so the audio is somewhat quiet with road noise, however with the radio turned off it's not too bad. For high noise areas, an earphone can be used. A suction cup windscreen bracket is also provided (DON'T forget that in the rental car!).

I believe the 670 also includes Euro maps, but it's somewhat more expensive. I bought a "mid-line" GPS and it's worked well so far. Will try it in Italy next month.

Happy travels!

Posted by
241 posts

Garmin Nuvi 200, which I have, gets good reviews. Not intending to, we bought one at a charity event loaded with US map. This is a $300 device. When I looked on their website to buy a European chip, they wanted $300. Too much 'extra.'

Posted by
2207 posts

I currently live in Rome and have a Garmin Nuvi 660 I bought on ebay before moving to Italy. With this unit I had to buy the European map set. Map sets are sold at the website of the vendor, online, in stores, or on ebay!

A few friends here at the embassy have Tom Tom and Magellan. All are very effective and can be extremely helpful - signage here can be dificult!

If you have time, do your research and purchase through ebay... best prices around. I would go to Best Buy, etc., try out the units and then bid on line.

For carrying around, my Garmin has about a 6 hour battery life. My friends in the embassy just leave theirs plugged up in their cars. There are settings to save power such as display brightness and display on/off timers.

Before moving here, while living in the States, I would "pre-enter" all my can't miss sites into "My Favorites", then search when you arrive! Saves you a lot of time!

Posted by
85 posts


I have a Garmin Nuvi 370 that I purchased before I went to Italy for 2 months last fall. It comes pre-loaded with European maps and worked fabulously even when I thought the tiny roads I was on could not possibly be on any map. It is small enough that I also used it to find my way when walking round in the cities as well (provided there were not too many tall buildings around). Having the gps really reduced the stress level when driving on roads with few directional signs.