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How is the iPad 2 (3G) as a GPS in Italy?

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Hello Everyone!

I'm travelling to Italy in June, and will be there with my family (wife and two year-old son) for 24 days. After six days in Rome, we will be driving east to Pescara, and then all the way south into the Salentine Peninsula. I've already reserved my car rental, however I've been reluctant to purchase the GPS add-on for a couple of reasons. For starters, I find the price rather steep. For what I'd pay to rent a GPS in Italy, I could purchase one here in Canada, and simply download the map. Secondly, I'm the proud owner of an iPad 2, with 3G capability, and I understand that it too can function as a GPS. Thirdly, once I reach my rental in Puglia, I will inherit a GPS from the owner. So, essentially, I'm only in need of the GPS for my road tripping into Abruzzo, and then south into Puglia.

I do not want to incur astronomical roaming fees while I'm on vacation, so my question is this: Is it possible to use my iPad 2 as a GPS without ever connecting to the internet? I hope not to make use of any data plan while I'm away, and aside from when I'm connecting to free wi-fi don't intend to use it as an on-line device. If I download the TomTom Italy map from the App Store, can I use it off-line while I'm driving? Or do I need to be connected to the internet?

Thank you in advance for your help. I know that this is more of a technical question, but I'm curious to hear about other travellers who have experience in this arena.

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