The quality of travel guide apps has a long, long spectrum that ranges from barely useful to phenomenally beautiful. ItalyGuides, an app designed by ComPart Multimedia, is far on the latter end of that spectrum.
It’s important to note that this is an audio guide, and while the text is available, it’s not necessarily the best option when you just want to map the nearest cafe or find a hotel in Rome. ItalyGuides attempts a more “cinematic” feel, and with the gorgeous photography, professional video footage, epic soundtrack and narration by voice actor Gregory Snegoff, it succeeds.
In uploading ItalyGuides to my iPhone, I had to delete several apps and a few tunes to make room. It also took quite awhile to download from iTunes (though that might have been my poor Internet connection at the time). But there’s a reason; this app is stunning.
It opens to a map of Rome marked in spots that have photos and information. You can also browse those spots by tapping “List” on the bottom left, then filter them by route, alphabetical order or “Top Places.” Attractions covered include the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Once you select an attraction, the music and narration begins. You can opt to read the text along with the narrator, as well as pause, fast forward and rewind. Rotating your iPhone starts the slideshow so you can browse the truly beautiful pictures of the location while the soundtrack and narration continues.
The video clips are accessible by tapping “Travel Tips” at the bottom of the screen. The footage is beautiful and features the same music, along with narration that is more focused on information about Rome for first-time visitors than the descriptions of attractions found in the other sections.
If you’re planning a trip to Rome and want a guide that is both informative and will get you even more excited about going, ItalyGuides is an outstanding choice.
ItalyGuides [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.