THE CITY’S MUST-HAVE APPS
When it comes to navigating the city like a local, Rome is such a popular destination that it can be a challenge to wade through the sea of books, blogs, websites, and magazines to truly find the best advice. But what could be easier than pulling out your phone? With these ten apps, you can explore the city’s food culture, brush up on your history, learn Italian, find a doctor and more. It’s like having an expert on all things Rome right in your pocket!
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Language doesn’t have to be barrier, and when in Italy it most definitely shouldn’t be. Food, drink and destinations should be at the top of your Italian language list. Leave it to Duolingo for quick translation, pronunciation and that occasional modi di dire pocket-handy guide. Each mini-lesson takes you through a language or grammar skill using pictures, short translations, listening activities and more to help you brush up on your Italian basics or solidify key language concepts all in a fun and easy to use format.
There are some words in Italian you simply don’t want to botch, whether it’s in spelling, meaning, or pronunciation. Like penne. Take our word for it. Enter iTranslate. This leading dictionary and translation app allows you to start voice-to-voice conversations in over 90 languages. The app also provides verb conjugations in different tenses, and can detect different dialects. Free, available offline, with built in voice features…you are bound to impress yourself when using this app abroad.
ON THE GO
This app is your uber for scooters. Getting around in Rome is a lot less intimidating when you’re a passenger. But what better way to uncover the city than like a local, where scootering is first class transportation for Romans. Enter Scooterino, your best bet for adventure, so you can keep your impromptu itinerary but with a peace of mind. This app allows you to pick your driver, check prices before booking, request a ride from around the city within minutes, and eve pay by card! Available in both English and Italian.
If you can brave the metro system in Rome, power to you. But do it right. Romebus surpasses the ATAC app in its accuracy: providing user with last updated times, real-time location, distance from metro/bus stops The app also features the “around me” capability which enables users to check out nearby establishments.
The news section informs you in case of strikes, direction changing, route closed or difficulties on traffic and helps you to calculate your alternative route.
Your closest bet to an Uber experience is this trending app. MyTaxi has been around since 2015 and is arguably the most efficient way to get around using Rome’s competitive taxi services. Order your taxi in two taps, track your driver in real time, pay cashless, and take advantage of this app when continuing to move around Europe. It also allows you to pre-order service up to 4 days in advance. You can save your favorite drivers (pick up on that last in-depth convo) and…Heading to the airport at the end of the week? Try their pick-up and drop off service on demand.
There’s an effective way to get lost on a sidestreet in Rome so you can keep your impromptu itinerary but also your peace of mind. Ulmon’s maps are extremely detailed, offering information on where to eat, drink, shop, find a hotel, and sightsee. These features are all available offline so you don’t have to worry about racking up roaming charges. Ulmon will keep you on map, and allows you to organize your trip, save your favorite places, discover nearby spots and point you towards those hidden gems often nondescript.
When you’re traveling or living abroad, the last thing you want to worry about is tracking down an English speaking doctor when you’re sick. MedInAction is a medical service that will deliver a qualified doctor right to your doorstep 24 hours a day. Choose where and when you want the doctor to come. You can also speak with a doctor by using the chat service and determine whether a visit is required. This app revives the tradition of Italian doctors making house calls, except it’s faster, more modern, customized, and all right at your fingertips!
FOR FOOD LOVERS
If you want to experience authentic dining in Rome, then you’ll want to skip even the best restaurants. Consider booking a spot at a local home restaurant on BonAppetour instead. For the same time spent waiting in a queue, you can make friends with a local home chef, learn a thing or two about Italian cuisine in his or her kitchen, and finally sit down at a dining table to feast and eat like a local. Sounds like the perfect Rome experience to me.
Obviously if you could eat out in Rome every night, not only would the Italian economy embrace you, but your palette would be redefined. However, it’s not practical. Eating in is the new way to dine with Deliveroo: enjoy premium cuisine on demand in the comfort of your Roman abode. This trendy startup has mastered the mobile kitchen, foodie locales, and great offers. Zip code friendly and diet approved, enjoy the perks of takeaway with this easy-to-use app.
KATIE PARLA’S ROME
Katie Parla is a food journalist and certified sommelier who for years has been sharing tips on her blog parlafood.com. The app is like having a very knowledgeable friend point out Rome’s best hidden spots for gourmet restaurants, wine, gelato, markets, cocktails, and pastries. You can also read her blog and star your favorite spots in “my picks.” With an offline map, price guide, pictures, and description of each venue, this is one of the most personal and professional food apps out there. The app costs 2.99€
BEST ALL AROUND
Why we love it? All content, navigation and reviews are available offline. Score. There’s an effective way to get lost on a sidestreet in Rome so you can explore the off-the-beaten path with confidence. Triposo is super customized mapping your trip based on your favorite places worldwide. It also offers information on where to eat, drink, shop, find a hotel, and sightsee and even allows you to book reservations. These features are all available offline so you don’t have to worry about racking up roaming charges. Organize your trip, save your favorite places, discover nearby spots and hidden gems like a pro. Leave your Lonely Planet at home? Maybe.
For your internet connection in Italy, we suggest you to rent a pocket wifi by ExpressoWiFi
Just about as portable as a take-away ‘espresso a l’italiano’, Expresso Wifi is a pocket-sized router with a 4G/LTE sim which can be connected to your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
AUTHORS: LAUREN MOUAT – MARGARET FLENNER – ANGELA GLEASON