When people ask me for advice about going to Rome, I’m always asked where the best places to eat are, where to stay, and things that they can do. If you’re heading to Rome and do not speak the language, finding places to hang out that aren’t “tourist traps” can be difficult to find. Many hotels have “unwritten” arrangements with local restaurants or have their own restaurants and may not be forthcoming with places to dine. Finding a good restaurant that doesn’t gouge you while at the same time offering an authentic experience can be daunting.
That’s where the app, Rome for Foodies, comes into play. This app works on both the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Using location services, the app can help you find things to do by laying them out geographically so you can see where you are and where the things that you want to do are located. Not being in Rome, it’s hard for me to test out the location services of the app. One thing that I found “annoying” is that the app only seems to work in portrait mode. Find if you’re using an iPhone, but for the iPad, this could be improved.
The dining subsection is divided into several categories: budget dining, pizzerias, fine dining, among others. I clicked on “Cucina Romana” to see what was on offer. The restaurants are listed by those that are closest to your current location, and a half dozen choices popped up for me. I knew a few of the restaurants, a few I tried, some I would go back to, others I wouldn’t. Each restaurant has the phone number, a link to a web site if they have one, and how “pricey” the app is – the more euro signs you see, the more expensive the restaurant. A nice description of the restaurant is listed as well as the hours as well as suggestions of things to try on their respective menus. You can also save restaurants (just tap on the “Save” button) or share them via text message, Facebook or via Twitter.
There’s also a top picks section of the app developer’s favorites. There’s also an itinerary section with a list of places to try each day of the week as well as suggestions for dining during the month of August (which can be a tricky time to find a good place to eat since that’s when many Romans go on vacation for Ferragosto). There are also suggestions for eating in Rome for the holidays, too. The other listings, for places to drink, shop, etc., are similiary structured. One of my favorite sections is the “Classes and Tours” section: if you’re looking for something to do that you can possibly take back with you after your vacation ends, this is the section to explore.
Overall, I like the app ($3.99, works on both iPod Touch/iPhone and iPad; an Android version exists, too, for $2.79) and would highly recommend it, especially if this will be your first time to Rome. I hope future updates include more restaurants — there are several places left off the lists — as this will make the app more of a resource for traveler’s to the city. Those of you who know the city well and have a set of favorites might not find the app as useful, but I found several places that I would like to try on my next trip. Overall, I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed! A great beginning for this app.
Update: I finally was able to download the app to my iPhone…I personally felt it worked better. I found the app was more suited for it, especially being “locked” in potrait mode. As I said, recommend the app, and purchasing for either device will allow it to work on all your iOS devices! Also, the app developer left a comment below, too!
Note to readers: Please note that no one paid me to review
this app nor asked me to review it, and I purchased the app with my own money.