OSM compared to Garmin City maps for Italy?

I have a Garmin nuvi 275T. I am planning a 2 week trip to the Tuscany and Campania regions of Italy and will be taking my GPS to use in our car. As I see it, I have the choice of Garmins (Navtec) city maps of Italy, or the OSM for Italy.
I am primarily interested in road navigation, as we will be planning our own driving tours, and a POI data base would be nice but not as important.
So my question is how do the two map bases compare? Thoughts on which one is ‘better’ are appreciated.
I’d also like to hear impressions from anyone who used OSM in those areas in Italy.
Yes, I plan on buying a Michilen map when I am there, as a alternative navigation aid.
Thanks for your help.


there is not only one “osm for Italy”, but much more which show different details and are in different styles. See http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin/Download. osm is the database for all this maps.

Hello J - I am a resident in Southern Tuscany…depending on where you plan to roam, you may find areas which are not properly referenced by any mapping source to date, and may still stay in that condition for some time. I systematically find people who try to reach locations via assisted routing, and will “not always get where they want” (but “they might get where they need”, if you remember the Rolling Stones).

Combined with the fact that mobile phone coverage is patchy, my advice is to ignore navigation sytems once you exit state or province roads and simply ask around. That will also improve your experience :wink:

Regards from Torniella

Andrea aka pibinko

Thank you…I was a bit imprecise with my statement…I realize that one can download certain tiles, but I also recall there being a way to select the entire country which would pull in all the tiles… The pointer is very helpful. TYVM!

Getting a response from a local exceeded my expectations…TYVM! I somewhat agree with your perception about electronic nav systems. As the saying goes, if you don’t know where you are, a map isn’t going to help you…At some point, the sat signals will punch through the ether enough to locate me via the GPS. BTW, I am a product of the stones era, as Maslov stated, needs outweigh wants…

To that end and as a back up, I plan on taking street maps. A colleague at a Italian university suggested maps by Touring Club Italiano, Tuscana region is a very good map to have: durable, highly detailed, better that the Michelin maps, but sometimes a little hard to read due to the small print. Do you have any thoughts/experience/recommendation for maps? (In previous travels through Europe I’ve usually used the Michelin maps and found them acceptable).
Thanks for the advice.

I have recently made a bike trip through Southern Italy (Sicily to Napoli) and navigated with OSM maps. I had no complaints, the main roads were accurate and even most of the rural ones were on the map.

For what it’s worth, in 2013, I lived two weeks near Radda in Chianti. We certainly didn’t go everywhere, but we did a lot of driving, and my brother-in-law is addicted to his Tom-Tom. I never saw a location error. (But the voice drove me nuts: it would use English algorithms to pronounce the street names, and often by the time I figured out what it should have said, we had already passed the turn!) I also used Google street view a lot to compare to photos I took. I got the impression that EVERY road in Italy had been photographed! I tried to find one that wasn’t but could not.

As for Michelin: I really like the format of their maps, but I purchased their 2016 guide to the Camino de Santiago. They still showed at least one albergue that collapsed more than five years earlier and had ceased to operate several years before that. And didn’t show at least two that I knew were more than two years old. So what do they do, change the date on the cover and reprint without updates?