I am admittedly obsessed with my iPhone. I love the technology, but more importantly, I love that I can organize Rome at my fingertips, practically an oxymoron when living in the Eternal City. My top 5 must-have smart phone apps for traveling to or living in Rome are as follows:
1. Roma Bus: the loveliest free app I can think of. Movenda’s Roma Bus lets you search your bus by stop name or bus number, and then will give you a complete listing of all the buses and arrival times.
Best function: Favorites, so I never have to search a bus stop again.
2. Pronto Treno: a Treni Italia application for checking train times and buying tickets. Note:this is only for users with iTunes Italia account.
Best Function: Changing booked travel.
3. AroundMe: one of the usual suspects in the top 25 iTunes apps, Around Me is commonplace in the US, but in Rome, it’s a Rosetta stone. Aroundme solves your location by listing everything you are looking for in Rome. I used it around the canals of Fiumicino and easily found a bancomat (ATM machine)– this is akin to finding the Holy Grail. Definitely update when notified as they are still adding info.
4. iBike Rome: Rome’s bike sharing green initiative, similar to Paris’ velibs, where you sign up for 5 euro, and can take a bike around the city paying 50 cents per half-hour. Everyone’s doing it, so finding a bike can sometimes take longer than walking. Movenda’s iBike lets you know how many bikes are available at each station.
Best Function: iBike finds the bicycle station closest to your immediate location and tells you the shortest route to get there
5. Wink: Ridiculously cute photostrips from your iPhone photos by Shutterfly. Wink is the best solution for all your low-res but yet amazing iPhone snaps since you (or at least I) would never think of printing them out.
Best Function: You can send them to anywhere in the world for $2.50, fshipping takes 3 or 4 days, even to Italy!
Other apps I can’t live without:
Heat and Little Chef: two free apps for those who love cooking and measuring but don’t particularly like converting. Useful when the thermometer says 38.9 and you have no idea what that “really” means
P.S. Take a look at NileGuide’s What’s Next, for $2.99, all the travel content you could ever dream of