We are 3 travelling to Italy in May 2013. We need devices to stay in contact among us while on vacation - would our "family band" walkie-talkies work for us in Italy?
The short answer is no.
I have no personal experience but you may want to look at a thread from last week: https://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/98058/2-way-radios.html
Teresa, Bringing two-way Radios from the U.S. is NOT a real good idea, as the frequency bands are different than those of similar European products. In some cases, U.S. radios operate on the same bands as emergency services in Europe. If you're caught interfering with their communications, you could face severe penalties. That WON'T be a "pleasant holiday memory". Cell phones and text messages are a relatively inexpensive way to keep in touch. Happy travels!
Ditto Ken. Cellphones and texting work great! Bring your own (after you get an EU plan thru your provider) or buy some cheap $20 Italian phones and a re-fillable SIM card. When my Cousin went with us two years ago, she got a free loaner phone from Verizon,and a lo cost EU talk and text plan. I got a lo cost plan thru AT&T, We texted each other all of the time. It worked great.
I thought my wife and I needed cell phones to stay in contact while on vacation since we can't seem to go to the grocery store together without texting each other. Turns out they were a bigger expense and harder to use than we anticipated and we ended up not actually needing them. Traveling makes you get out of your comfort zone for a little while and change the way you see things. I realized that it wasn't long ago that we didn't have cell phones or radios and could manage to stay in contact just fine. It is also nice to sit together at a restaurant and talk to each other instead of staring at our phones.