Years ago, I took a trip to visit my extended family in Italy.
A few days into the trip, I ordered Italian pizza for the first time. Good old pizza. Nothing new to learn here, right?
My Italian cousin seemed confused when I started cutting the pizza into slices. I asked him if he wanted a piece.
“Cosa? Non ho capito.” (What? I don’t understand.) He explained that he was waiting for his own pizza. That one was mine.
“Tutto di questa?” (All of this?) An entire pizza just for me? Now it was my turn to be confused!
Traveling abroad is always full of surprises. Sometimes they’re silly surprises, like my not knowing people each order their own pizza in Italy. But sometimes they’re more frustrating, like a confusing metro system or a miscommunication with a local.
Downloading the best travel apps for Italy onto your phone is a quick way to make your trip to Italy easier. You can prepare for the hardships and stick to the fun surprises instead.
The Best Travel Apps for Italy: Language, Food and Flights
Travel Apps to Prepare for Italy
The logistics of a trip to Italy start well before your trip begins and don’t stop when you leave the airport.
The following are a few practical Italy travel apps that can help you no matter why or how long you’ll be on la Penisola (the Peninsula). Non ti preoccupare (don’t worry) if the trains aren’t exactly running on time. There’s an app for that.
Countless travelers are drawn to Italy because of the language. Italian has history in music, art and literature. Not to mention, when an attractive man or woman speaks the language, everyone swoons!
FluentU is an entertaining, authentic way to improve your Italian language skills. Learn how to talk about the weather, the latest calcio (soccer) match, and of course, romantic flirting. Because this is Italy.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like sports programs, TV shows and music videos—and turns them into Italian learning experiences, as you can see here:
FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles.
Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.
Once you’ve watched a video, you can use FluentU’s quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’ve learned to recommend videos and ask you questions based on what you already know.
Plus, it’ll tell you exactly when it’s time for review. Now that’s a 100% personalized experience!
Access the full video library for free with a FluentU trial. You can access FluentU on your web browser or, better yet, download the app at the iTunes store or Google Play store so you can take the app with you around Italy.
An all-in-one travel app that you can use anywhere, Skyscanner is one of the more versatile travel apps out there.
This handy tool is useful from the very beginning of your planning process. It can help you book flights, find hotels and navigate your way to and from the airport. Yes, it even provides information for airport transfers and public transit options on both sides of the airline gate.
Aside form practical planning tools, Skyscanner also gives you fun facts about your destination. The app is actually designed to keep you busy while you’re in transit. Take a few moments to read up on the distinctive quirks of your Italian destination before you arrive.
Ready to explore Italy? This Italian app provides information and tickets for Italian train routes and schedules.
Trenitalia is useful for getting around the city and sightseeing in the countryside. The extensive public transportation system in Italy is great for seeing as much of the country as possible! But the system can feel disorganized at times, especially in bigger urban centers or small communities with limited service.
But Trenitalia makes navigating Italian public transportation much easier!
Plot your route, buy tickets using Paypal or Apple Wallet and view departure times using TrenItalia. You also have access to the VIP lounge in the station, if there is one.
There are similar apps that are city-specific that wouldn’t fit on this list. For example, take a look at Gira Napoli. But if you’re traveling around multiple cities or regions, it’s best to go with this broader app.
An app that’s just as popular at home as it is on the road, Google Maps is a route and transportation app.
Simply type in your current destination and your desired location. Then Google Maps will plot several possible routes and transportation options.
This overlaps nicely into Google Trips if you already have a Google account. All your personal information and individual preferences can be imported at the touch of a button between the two.
Depending on your preferences, the app can guide you to accommodation, restaurants and local points of interest. It’s also useful for more practical needs, like finding transit stops and amenities like grocery stores.
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Travel Apps for Italian Vacations
Despite all the news about trendy language learning trips and gap year travel, there are still plenty of people who visit Italy just for fun and relaxation. Other than a few museums and famous sights, your itinerary is open, with plenty of time for sipping wine by the orange grove.
A relaxed, non-committal schedule fits in perfectly with the relaxed pace of life in Italy. The following apps will help you enjoy the most of la dolce vita (the sweet life) during your Roman holiday.
Guides by Lonely Planet
A trusted brand in travel guides and related merchandise, Lonely Planet has been around long enough to gather an impressive collection of information for travelers.
In the usual Lonely Planet style, the app mixes both mainstream recommendations and more unique pointers from locals.
The Guides by Lonely Planet is a collection of apps designed to guide you around countries, states, provinces and individual cities. The series for Italy is vast, including heavy hitters like Florence and Rome. Such a guide is essential if you want to see some of Italy’s famous cities in more detail.
Italy Travel Guide by Triposo
The Italy Travel Guide is a collection of information compiled by the travel company Triposo. You can use this app offline as a guide to several Italian regions and over 100 Italian cities. It’s designed as a complete guide to any and all things in Italy.
And the best part? It’s entirely in English!
The content and format are designed for travelers. It consists of several mini-guides written by other users.
Italy Travel Guide can double as a trip planner and map maker. You can also use it to buy tickets for local events, book tours or find a rental scooter.
Essentially, this app is the Italian version of the Italy Travel Guide. It was developed on the Peninsula and is used by Italians and tourists alike.
The main difference? ZonzoFox is entirely in Italian! That makes it perfect for people who are working on their language skills. You can use the app to practice your Italian restaurant and food vocabulary.
ZonzoFox has a handy city menu that can pinpoint what you need nearby. Its purpose is to guide you with sightseeing tips all around Italy.
The “local ambassadors” system prioritizes advice and information gathered and shared by locals, so the information is always current.
Travel Apps for Italian Food
What we call food tourism is just a way of life in Italy. Even if you’re not here for the food culture, the elite gastronomy of every meal will swallow you up.
Each region in Italy has its own unique dishes and signature wines. These apps are here for aspiring sommeliers, those studying the culinary arts and folks who just like to eat great food.
Plenty of people already use this handy app at home. It’s mainly designed for finding restaurants, and it can be used anywhere. Even in Italy!
There’s an overwhelming number of food options around the country. You can use Zomato to find take-out services, street vendors and mobile food trucks.
The app also provides pictures and explanations of more exotic dishes and ingredients for those unfamiliar with Italian language and food. You might think you know what Italian food is like, but there are a few exotic dishes that you might want to try after the spaghetti and meatballs get boring. Zomato can help you navigate those surprises with more success.
For True Foodies Only
Some apps are as much about a personal passion as practical information. And For True Foodies Only is one of them!
This app is for brave adventurers who want to savor as much as possible from Italian cuisine. That includes the most elegant dinner, a sample of baked goods or a humble cup of espresso.
For True Foodies Only is designed and maintained by professionals in the industry and follows top restaurants and talented chefs. Many of the culinary masters mentioned in the app are in Italy or were educated and trained there.
The app even includes cooking instructional videos if you want to recreate a meal you enjoyed.
The food culture of Italy means there are also several food apps for specific cities.
Eat Italy was developed by Elizabeth Minchilli, a professional foodie who has been cooking and eating all over Italy for most of her life. The app lists her favorite bakeries, hotels and cafes in addition to restaurants.
Eat Italy is free to use. However, it’s part of a larger family of apps that includes similar information about food across the country. A small fee is required if you want guides for certain cities.
Travel Apps for Italian Culture
Scholars, artists, historians, archaeologists and ambitious entrepreneurs have always been drawn to Italy.
In the modern age, party people, backpackers and filmmakers have joined the horde of visitors that come to Italy every year. They bring their art or come simply to enjoy the creative process.
Whichever aspect of Italian culture interests you, here are some apps that will lead you to things you’ll tell your grandchildren about.
This is a great Italian app for language students, music lovers or those keen on current news and local culture.
Language learners can practice by listening to Radio Italia. Tourists can use it to find festivals or street parties, which are prevalent in Italy.
Of course, you can just use it to indulge in one of Italy’s most treasured pastimes, which is listening to music.
Radio Italia works all over the world, so you can use tune in to catch up on current and local events before you arrive in Italy. When you return home, you can keep listening if Italy is still on your mind! And it likely will be, like a beautiful melody that you can’t get out of your head.
If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path venues that only locals and long-term expats would know about, TripScout can help you.
Its content is user-generated with firsthand reviews and detailed directions of places you won’t find in mainstream tour guides.
What makes TripScout different from other guide apps? Many of the recommendations are made by professionals who actually work in the bars, shops or other venues on the list.
The visual aspect is also an advantage, as the app integrates maps and route suggestions with photographs and star ratings. You can see most of the details at once without a lot of swiping or searching.
Students or aficionados in Rome for the art scene should start with STREETART ROME. You can use this Italian app to tour the various murals that decorate the Eternal City.
The app is entirely bilingual, presenting information in both Italian and English.
There are similar apps for other Italian cities. Italy has several guides, maps and planners designed for niche interests in specific places. STREETART ROME is just one example. If you’re checking out the art scene in other cities, there are apps for you, such as Ecco Venezia.
In Italy, you can have your pizza and eat it, too.
These are the best travel apps for Italy when it comes to organizing your big trip to the Boot. Choose the ones that best suit your tastes, whether they’re for language, music, love, food or great scenery.
Viva l’Italia! (Long live Italy!)
Kristy Ambrose has been writing professionally since 2010. She dabbles in various genres, including everything from short blog posts to serialized novels. Her inspiration comes from gamers, beachcombers, foodies and of course her fellow travelers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Victoria.
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