In many ways you might have realised Italy is not the most advanced when it comes to technology, but honestly, they do love to live off their smartphones. You’ll find apps are a winner in Italy, locally it is highly likely your healthcare has one to book, plus transportation and bus tickets are usually available on apps. I’ve gathered together a list of the best apps for living in Italy, but know they may depend on your location, test them out and see what works for you!
Getting an Italian SIM Card
Before we dive into the best apps for living in Italy, I want to share a few quick things about phones and phone plans here in Italy! First, If you are here for a long time, cancel your home phone plan and get an Italian SIM, trust me it is cheaper. Now I get sometimes with family plans it may make sense to keep an at home phone plan active, but here in Italy we pay between 8-12 euro for tons of internet and minutes. My own plan is 8 euro a month, it gives me 50gb of data, and I can call the US for free. So really think about getting an Italian SIM.
For some apps, they may only be available in Italy, or have an Italian version. In this case you may have to check and change the country in your app store. Also finally, some apps work better in certain Italian cities, and some cities have their own apps when it comes to things like busses, so below there may be some general recommendations. Check your local ciy transport company for their Bus App.
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Travel Apps for Living in Italy
Free Now or WeTaxi– Both these apps can be used to find a taxi in any city in Italy. This is great because you don’t have to figure out the number for a cab all the time, you can schedule a cab, and it will tell you the price before sometimes. Uber unfortunately is not so common and is also very, very expensive in Italy. You should stick to the taxis when you can.
Moovit– This is best if you are in Rome, where who knows when the bus will arrive. It can give you updates on when the bus will arrive, and the routes you need. For all other cities, I found that Google Maps works fine for bus schedules and directions.
Your Local Bus Ticket App- every City has a different app but normally you can get tickets via app to avoid buying them in tabacchi. For example Turin uses TO Move App, which unfortunately is only available on Iphone.
MyCicero or EasyPark – for paying for and finding parking, but also can grab bus tickets, train tickets, basically a one stop shop.
Thatch Travel – A great app that lets you save all your favorite places: wither those you’ve discovered or those that are on your bucket list. Plus you can discover maps and guides from your favorite Italy creators! I use Thatch both personally for keeping track of all the amazing places I want to try. But I also use it to create extensive guides for you to explore an authentic Italy. Check out my guides here.
Other Travel resources:
There are a few other great travel resources that do have apps available, however I much prefer to save space and use their website directly.
Trenitalia– The national train service, good for regional train, you can check the schedule and buy tickets.
Trainline– to compare train routes and buy tickets.
ItaloTreno– A private train service that is best for fast trains, the only downfall is they have limited routes.
From Rome 2 Rio– to figure out how to get to all the little towns in Italy
Apps for Living in Italy: Food Services
Too Good To Go- Fight food waste and get really good deals on some yummy food. You can pick up packs of food for around 5euro, all leftovers from bakeries, grocery stores, and restaurants.
Deliveroo/Glovo/JustEat/Uber Eats- All different delivery services, depending on your location one may be better than the other. Glovo also lets you order from the pharmacy!
Everli– a really helpful grocery order service, you can create your shopping list and take advantage of deals, plus leave notes for your shopper in case something has run out.
Vivino– get to know your wines! Figure out what you are looking at in the supermarket or restaurant and get acquainted with Italian wines.
Finding Beauty Services via Apps
Uala or Treatwell– Both great to find local estetista services. You can search by location, by date and time or by service and book directly through the app, you can even find discounts and deals when an estetician decides to offer one! I love these apps because it makes the pain of searching google maps a lot easier. I just put in my location, search gel nails, set my preferred appointment time, and order by price!
Another thing I especially like about the Treatwell app is that it will have descriptions of the services and what they do, so if you see an opening or deal for a funky facial you can know exactly what the process will be like.
Other Apps that make Living in Italy Easier
And now for the miscellaneous ones, apps I use myself and that have been praised by a number of fellow expats.
BancoPoste– don’t waste your time in line at the Post Office, you can book an appointment in advance through the app! Even if you don’t have a bank account, you can schedule an appointment to mail your package, send in your permesso kit, anything at all you need to get done. This means you get to skip wasting your whole Saturday Morning in line.
Satispay– this may be more relevant in the north, it is an app to pay with your phone, without connecting a card to it. You choose your weekly budget and just send money through the app to businessess. The plus is that you can get discounts and cashback from a number of locations, plus you can use the app to pay your bills! You will need an Italian Bank Account to use this app.
Bumble– when it comes to dating in Italy, I have been told this is one of the better options for dating apps!
Scribd– I discovered Scribd a few years ago and it has been a lifesaver for long bus rides, waits at the questura, everything. Here you can find unlimited reading material on the go, you can get books and audiobooks in English or Italian, and many other languages. (Plus the link gives your two months free!)
ReversoContext – a little more useful than google translate, this app helps you capture the real context of a word phrase, making less things get lost in translation.
Looking to move to Italy? Make sure you’ve got your paperwork ready with help from the Moving to Italy: A Guidebook to Italian Bureaucracy!
These have been many of my trusted apps since moving here, but if you think of one I haven’t mentioned, reach out to me on Instagram and share it!
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