I'm a big fan of how handy smartphones can be when it comes to travel - they can replace guidebooks, audio guides, maps, phrasebooks, GPS units... The list goes on and on. But not every travel-related app is actually useful - some of them are just plain fun.
As an Italophile, I'm particularly fond of the Italy iPhone apps that bring little slices of the country to me no matter where I am. These apps are sometimes entertaining, sometimes essentially useless and funny, and sometimes a bit of mind candy for me between trips.
While these apps won't necessarily help you learn the language, find Italy travel deals, or navigate your way through a city, there's nothing like having a little bit of Italia on your iPhone. Here are 12 of my favorite fun Italy iPhone apps.
Mameli - FREE
What Italophile would be caught without the Italian national anthem on his or her iPhone? With the Mameli app, you'll be ready at all times. Tap the "testo" button to learn the Italian lyrics as the anthem plays.
Grandma's Remedies from Italy - $0.99
Assuming you don't have your own Italian grandmother around to dole out cures for life's ailments, there's an app for that. This nonna may not pinch your cheeks, but she can still lay on a good guilt trip.
Nike Goal - FREE
Fans of Italian soccer will want to get the Nike Goal app ASAP - it includes both Serie A and Serie B information, with the league tables and schedules so you'll always know where your team is on the standings.
Radio Italia - $0.99
I use this app to connect to my favorite Italian station (which is also called Radio Italia), which plays only Italian music, but there are more than 600 Italian radio stations available via this app.
iBreviary Pro Terra Sancta - FREE
This is the only Vatican-approved prayer app for the iPhone, and it comes in several languages. Even if you're not Catholic, you've got to be impressed by the 21st century nature of this app for an ancient practice, no?
Briscola - $2.99
Looking for an Italian card game to spice up your usual solitaire routine? Look no further than the Briscola app. After mastering Briscola, build your card game repertoire with other apps like Scopa and Tressette.
Tuscany+ - FREE
This app uses augmented reality to give you information about the things you're seeing in Tuscany through your iPhone's camera. It's excessively cool, but does require at least an iPhone 3G or 3GS as well as connectivity.
Roman Emperors & Popes Pocket Books - $4.99 each
These apps are handy if you can't keep track of either Rome's long list of emperors (more than 200) or the Vatican's long list of popes (nearly 500). There are biographies and timelines for each in their respective apps.
Roman Mythology - $2.99
When you're checking out temples built for various Roman gods and goddesses, this app will help you understand why they were worshipped by the ancient Romans. The app contains more than 200 gods/goddesses, Roman heros, and important places.
Drinking Water - FREE
If you've been to Rome, you're familiar with the city's many drinking fountains, still fed by ancient acqueducts. This great app helps you find the fountains closest to where you are at any given moment in Rome.
Tower of Pisa (Inclinometer) - $0.99
This is really just a simple app to determine the lean of any object seen through your iPhone's camera, but as the app name indicates you can use it to figure out just how far the famous leaning tower of Pisa actually leans. As a bonus, you can use it to show your companions just how many "leaning towers" there are in Italy.
View Jessica's app library: http://www.appolicious.com/users/WhyGoItaly