So you got the room reservation here at Soloroma b&b brilliant choice! Booked the flight, your bags almost done, drop your dog at your parents within a box full of treats and rubber bones as you feel guilty as well, your browser is now cluttered of rome web pages and keep browsing is on the way to cause you an headache uh?.
You know we’ll supply you with a pocket map and a tourist guide and as you didn’t leave yet you’re feeling a bit tired already and at least you’re deciding to keep your trust on the main basic apps of your iPhone… Uh did I say basic? Well as all the bunch of google apps such as translators, maps, goggles and whatever are useful in their general kind, they lack to be focused on a certain topic, in this case Rome.
So as a roman I picked what I think are the top Rome apps to let your stay being easier with no worries and hassle free, you could find my choice a bit ironic but believe me, in some cases they could save your ass – literally 🙂
Good news! To obtain a free one real voip italian landline download Mtalk on App Store or GooglePlay. How it works? All italian numbers can easily get in touch with you upon their local fees (say to finalize bookings, tickets, being called by local friends, etc very useful), you can call through the app any international number with a small fee per second, you can call for free all other mtalk users. It’s a temporary free and ad-free number working under data connection, when you won’t need it anymore you’d be able to cancel your italian number and obtain another one from the available 18 countries or definitely damp the app.
A gorgeous totally free offline map with turn by turn voice directions. No internet connection required, say goodbye to data roaming charges, forget the google maps which are really crap when offline. Enjoy high level of details with several POIs with no screen delays.
Get it, get it, GET IT!
Travel Guides by The Telegraph
Useful guide with loads of tips and suggestions covered by the Telegraph experts living here. Not just Rome but also several world’s destinations. From the official description: “..Once downloaded, you can navigate around the destination with the Telegraph as your guide. Short, insightful reviews written especially for this app, easytouse interactive maps and clear and simple categorisation, will help you make the best choices. We won’t just leave you at the door either each recommendation comes with tips and insider knowledge about the local delicacies to order, how to get the best table, how to beat the queues and how to save money. As well as handpicked recommendations, our experts have created customised itineraries to help you plan the perfect trip.
“ Last Update: just downloaded to test, it’s very well done and coloured, nice clear icons, start page shows a slide of 5 place suggestions w/ pictures, than a horizontal icons row: Do, Drink, Eat, Shop or a bottom black button “Nearby will show you up all tips and suggestion places close to you. It works offline using the gps but to show the general map mode, without data the blank map will show up just the pins. As a roman I honestly have to say it covers many of the tips and reccommendations I give to my guests. Sliding up the home page will give general tips, emergency calls, etc. Very well done, nice UX a pleasure to browse, the best guide I’ve seen by far, must have.
Pilgrim – Rome guide
A well done Jubilee app with several and even unusual tours and places splashed with latest Vatican news and upcoming catholic events but also eat and drinks hand picked spots. UX and design superb, a swiss knife for every pilgrim and visitor.
When you’ll feel lost and need a taxi that’s the right app for you: locate on the map the closest available cab to your pin, at the end of the ride pay on board through Paypal. Your receipts are saved so you could print it later on. Bad cab or driver? Remove it within the next search. Handy.
Just in case you’d arrive at the place where you booked and they’d tell you there was an error or there’s just an overbooking or blah blah… do you know how many people buzzed at my front door downstairs because of an overbooking? What would you do finally? This is were Airbnb comes up to help you last minute: tap your actual location and start finding another place.
Muoversi a Roma (Public transport GPS locator)
You’ll notice with your eyes that Rome public transports are not so efficient as you’d expect from a capital of an european country: buses stuck in the jam or not respecting the timetable happen frequently. As the city center is better to be walked – the slow walking speed will let you appreciate much more the appeal of the narrow ancient alleys, you’d probably would have the unfortunate idea to reach the catacombs by regular bus instead of the dedicated hop-on off lines, and you could wait along via Appia even for one hour under the heating sun before a bus would come to pick you up – how many german folks slowly cooking under the sun and me saying “hello” speeding on the scooter LOL. Few years ago public transports network was equipped with GPS, so actually some city center bus stops output the waiting time of the bus line you’re waiting for, as the GPS data are public as well this is where this app comes essential: tap its magnifying glass and input the bus stop number or the bus line and it will come up with the waiting time info you need. It also locate your buses direction route from point A to B.
I Nasoni di Roma – Water Finder in Rome
Water was one of the main resources for the city during the centuries, it is fresh good tasting coming from Abruzzo sources the mountain region next to Lazio. It is still delivered through the ancient roman acqueducts such as Acqua Vergine in the Vatican area and surroundings or through modern ones. Pope Sisto IV of Barberini family put masterpiece fountains along the roman streets intersections to water thirsty pilgrims along their route to visit the five Basilicas. IMO you won’t find a better tasty and refreshing free tap water, and I travelled a lot. Because of this the city is peppered of small tap water fountains called Nasoni – which means big noses because this dark grey short columns have a long curved stick like a long nose from where the water spill off continously, if you stop up the bottom of the stick, water will spill out from a little hole to water you. This app will locate you and show up the closest nasoni to you, in the goggle maps style. My suggestion: buy a small mineral water plastic bottle, when empty tap the app, locate the closest nasone and refill your bottle.
An old good Council Law states that if you get in in a public space such as a Bar asking for a glass of tap water or for the toilet they have to water you or let you get in the toilet for free. So formally all bar toilets are public… but. If I need a toilet urgently my behavior is first to have a quick think if any hospital is in the surroundings, hospitals are the best places to use toilets, they never lack of paper, soap and disinfectant hand gel dispenser that are all over the corridors. Second is to locate the nearest MacDonald’s or Burger King or get in a Bar and look at the environment, my politically correct forma mentis always suggest me to ask for a coffee or a small water bottle at the cash but quickly asking after where the toilet is, if he says it’s not available just say thanks anyway and move away. Now, this little app comes up to give you the 3rd option to locate the nearest Rome public toilets and it would literally save your ass as I mentioned in the prologue LOL.
Rome Travel Guide and Offline Map
Ulmon locates you through the smartphone built-in GPS and will show up the interesting spots around you using offline data, no 3G at all! Interactive monuments, attractions and sights descriptions, maps, public transports. I tested it and honestly found it a bit tricky to browse, not a great UX imo, I rather prefer an easy to use such as Travel Guides by Telegraph on top of this page.