Mobile Apps for your tablet or mobile phone can be like having one or more of those big, heavy, dead-tree guide books in your pocket. Imagine taking out your device and letting it map out all the great restaurants around where you're standing.
Apps can be very specific, focusing on the best places to get coffee in a small city, or can be wider in focus, even regional or continental.
The trend is to offer very specific information at a reasonable price so you can pick and choose what interests you.
To get the most out of many apps, you'll need to be connected to the internet, either though available wi-fi or through cellular data networks. This will allow you to say, "I'm here, where is a restaruant near me?"
If you don't have a connection, you'll have to locate yourself on the map and figure a way to that restaurant on your own.
Many communities in Italy are installing community wireless internet.
Our Mobile Apps
Tuscany for Foodies
Tuscany is a big region. The biggest, in fact, of Italy's regions. This app will show you what you need to know about eating an Italian meal--and how to get the best food in any restaurant, even when you branch out on your own.
- Visit a Cinta Senese Farm - these white-belted pigs were brought back from extinction by the hard work of a select few--and we'll tell you how to visit a farm where traditional salumi is made from the pigs they raise.
- Foodie Fun - Cooking classes with famous teachers and cookbook authors.
- Agriturismi! - Yes, you can stay on farms where the focus is on the great food products Italians are known for.
All attractions are mapped and the maps are inside the app, so you don't have to have an internet connection to see where the restaruants, agriturismi, and other foodie attractions are in Tuscany.
Price: The app, like all of our apps, costs less then $3. Once you purchase it, all updates are free.
Devices: iOS (Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) and Android devices are supported.
Sardinia Inside Out
The island of Sardinia has facinated me since my first visit to the Island in 1982 to participate in an Archaeological survey of the interior.
The app is the result of a colaboration between myself and Sardinia guide Paola Loi, the outsider and insider respectively, solving the problem of what type of author is best in guide books that I wrote about when I announced the app.
You'll find a lot of fun things to do on this fascinating island, which is way, way different than Sardinia (although with similar devotion to good food!) We'll take you from the saffron fields to the lace makers, from the Romanesque churches to the fantastic festivals that you'll have to see to believe, including a sacred horse race called l'Ardia that makes the Palio di Siena look like child's play.
- Shop: From Bosa Filet Lace (from a 92 year old lacemaker!) to Sardinian asphodel baskets to the famous coral jewelery of Alghero, it's all in the app.
- Eat: From the fabulous seafood you'll find all along the coast (and those famous Bosa Lobsters!) to the inland's fine pork and other specialties, it's all here.
- Stay: Image this: lux lodging in a former mining warehouse right on the beach! There's more conventional lodging, of course, but we've searched out the most interesting.
Puglia Travel Guide
Puglia is always on the pathway of becoming "the next Tuscany" or some such thing, but it's not Tuscany and has charms all its own; it's time tourists discovered them.
Puglia is flat; a great place to cycle. It's largely surrounded by crystal clear water that everyone takes advantage of in the summer. The seafood is fabulous--and this is a region with a taste for the "small plates" meals. Just order whatever you like, whatever you've learned about the strict Italian meal configuration is wrong in Puglia.
There are plenty of places to stay--in Masserie (large family farms, sometimes fortified against coastal pirates) as well as in those conical limestone buildings scattered about the countryside and concentrated in Alberobello called trulli.
Tour along ancient Roman Roads Like the Via Traiana--or stay in one of those little fishing villages you thought had passed on to the great industrial beyond, like Gallipoli or hang out with the Octupus slappers of Giovinazzo.
And really, you think of the great summer weather in Puglia, but if you don't go in the off season, you don't get pictures like I point out in this blog post: Don't go to Puglia in bad weather...
Italy Travel Tips and Hints
Martha wrote this for those of you who want to get more into the culture of Italy. Maybe you'd like to rent a vacation apartment and find out what it's like to live amongst the locals. This is the app for you. It's also the app for you if you're going to Italy for the first time and don't know what to expect.
So...you've paid your bill and before you rise from the table the waiter comes over and offers you a digestivo. Do you accept?
If you don't know, you need this app. And a limoncello.