Ok. So, we’ve all done it… there’s no need to deny it. At one point, we’ve all stood in front of a Roman monument, street, fountain, church, bridge, and thought ‘Hmmm, I wish I knew the story behind that…’ Then, we see a nearby gelato shop, and forget all about our intrigue. To be fair, unless you’re an art expert or historian, it’s just overwhelming to keep up. But that’s where a cool iphone ‘app’ comes in (drum roll please….). It’s called iDotto, an audio guide that is like a little travel buddy to accompany you through the city in your pocket and make your life or visit to Rome a lot easier. Its motto is: ‘Walk, Listen and Enjoy the City.’ Need I say more? Just in case, I will.
First you download it on iTunes, install it onto your iPhone or iPad and then let the app do its magic. Through your phone’s GPS system, the App can pin point what area of Rome you’re in. Once you plug in your earphones, a guy with a cool British accent will give you a summary of the monument or building you’re looking at. The Vatican, Colosseum and Gianicolo are obviously on the list, but there’s also info on Rome’s random fountains and characteristic streets. If you’re looking for something that’s not as touristy, you can also check out local restaurant listings and even some of their recipes. It has over 25 hours of information, so it’s pretty safe to say, this app has it covered. If you get lost, it can also help you out with directions. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s nice to do the whole ‘tour thing’ and follow a guide who has to hold up a bright umbrella to lead the crowd, but it’s also good to do your own thing at your own pace. The best part is the app works offline, so there’s no extra roaming or internet fees on your bill.
They don’t call it the ‘Eternal City’ for nothing. Here every little corner is like a Pandora’s box. There’s history, art, mystery, religion and war, all mixed into this chaotic jewel of a city. It’s nearly impossible to see it all here in Rome, but even so, deep down you know you just have to try. Since downloading this app, now I’m actually looking forward to all the questions friends and family ask when they come to visit. I may not know the answer, but I can play it cool, put on my earphones and say “give me a second… there’s an app for that.”
You can download the app here