Visiting and exploring Naples and its surrounding area has, for centuries, been a must for anyone who wants to increase their cultural knowledge and understanding of ancient history which remains alive, real and part of daily life in Bella Napoli. Since the fourteenth century some of the the best minds have documented Naples history as they found those mythical places made eternal by Lycophron, Virgil, Ovid, Horace, Statius, Suetonius, and Tacitus. And still today astounding remains of countless fabled sites remain to be visited and marveled over.
As early as the seventeenth century, increasing number of travelers to Naples from the rest of Italy and Europe urgently called for the creation of a true "guide" for tourists. And so were born the valuable works of Engenio Caracciolo of Capaccio, the Sarnelli, of Celano and a bit later, the English language touring bibles of Baedeker, Arthur Norway, Durand and others. Dazzling and detailed histories, and impressions filled their personal accounts of the treasure trove of astounding and breathtaking archaeological Greek and Roman era construction, ancient sea ports, necropoli, tunnels, live volcanic marvels and an endless list of astounding things they had discovered.
Their works were translated abroad and still remain valuable tools for contemporary scholars. In following centuries other important authors, such as de Jorio, enriched the panorama of the Neapolitan "tourist guides" with writing both wonderful and insightful offering an intimate look at Naples' fascinating cultural heritage. His was a true work of love, for the enhancement of appreciation for of the sprawling Province of Naples.
Zoom forward to 2011 and our digital age and another work of love, "iTour Na". Written in computer application code instead of a spoken language, it was done with the same love and enthusiasm designed provide a rich and useful information for visitors and tourists, and is proudly grafted onto this ancient tradition of the detailed "guide book".
Colorful visual, multimedia information on fantastic places to see and experience is now available in the palm of your hand using a "Smart Device" which, using public Wifi or cell phone coverage, where available, becomes a constantly updated guide book. "iTour Na" is an iPhone application that provides you (the tourist) a rich visual "mobile" guide to locating and understanding Naples' complex cultural heritage, and the endless marvels across the Province of Naples. The iPhone app is complete in the Italian language version and the English language version will be activated as soon as translation is completed! We will announce its availability here.
For sites of cultural interest, iTour Na provides descriptions, photos, videos, and even maps with directions and information which allows one to use Wifi, or other type of connectivity, to locate, not only by name and description of the site but also, through the identification of the user’s geographic location, a point by point directional map to reach that a specific site, using GPS mapping.
And in the best tradition of the Grand Tour, as was the custom among the most famous European intellectuals who wrote memoirs, letters, notes of what they observed, now with "iTour Na" the modern-day tourist will have the ability to type in travel notes about a the sites visited and then shared their impressions instantly via email with family and friends!
The application provides two types of content: text and multimedia. For the first, the text-based tabs that contain the written overviews of each location, can be checked by pressing the menu "update" bar at any time for up-to-date information such as changes to hours of operation, prices, holiday closures and such.
itour Na is a "work in progress" being constantly expanded and updated with new pages, and related multimedia content including stunning photos, video of many sites, etc. which will be released in successive version updates of the app. Of course the app content is always available to users in off-line mode even without an internet connection ... all the data and multimedia information is just a few finger-taps away . . . a magical guide book which could not have been imagined in the 17th century!
Finally, the excitement from the creation of the "iTour Na" iPhone, felt by app developer, Sirio Salvi, and the Napoliunderground staff, is almost an imperative that you will download and use this app, because, as we say in Neapolitan, "aià turnà!!" (you just gotta come!)
Click on the graphic below to download the free itour Na app from the iTunes store!