With Blogville 2014 Emilia Romagna and Lombardy united in the development of tourist appeal on the web, synergistically promoting themselves via social networks – Coming from all over the world, between May-June and September-October, are thirty top travel bloggers to discover the seven Italian provinces that comprise the UNESCO Quadrilateral in an itinerary traversing the World Heritage artistic beauties of the two regions. Up until today, Blogville has hosted 120 international bloggers, with a further 600 articles and 8000 images online for over 10 million contacts via social networks.
The 2014 edition of Blogville, the digital tourist promotion project launched two years ago by APT Servizi Emilia Romagna in collaboration with the network www.iAmbassador.net, broadening its territorial confines and pointing to the ‘Great Beauty’ of Italy represented by the UNESCO sites.
Starting from this year, in the viewpoint of Expo 2015, Emilia Romagna involves neighbouring Lombardy in Blogville: between the two regions there has recently been signed a memorandum for the understanding of tourism promotion, as a sign of their appeal that stems right form the World Heritage sites. The provinces of Bologna, Ravenna, Modena and Ferrara on one hand, and Milan, Mantua and Cremona on the other, constitute what has been dubbed the ‘UNESCO Quadrilateral’, and it is along this interregional perimeter that the synergistic promotion of Blogville 2024 is based.
The bloggers involved in this year’s project do not just come from Europe, but also from North and South America, the Far East (selected from among hundreds of candidates throughout the world based on their influence on social networks). For ten weeks overall between May-June and September-October, they will have as a base an apartment in the centre of Milan, as well as the usual apartment in Bologna. This is a way to make them feel at home as well as enabling them to explore the area as spontaneously as possible in accordance with the Blogville motto: ‘Eat, Feel and Live like a local in Italy’.
Their stay in the area will bring them to discover the regional excellence complicit in the world wide appeal of Made in Italy and Italian Style: from Parmagiano Reggiano to Grano Padano, from Prosciutto to Parma ham to the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Emilia Romagna, from Franciacorta to Motorvalley, passing through the fashion district until you reach the beautiful countryside of the Emilia Romagna Apennines, the Po Delta and the Lakes of Lombardy.
“This 2014 Blogville”, declared Maurizio Melucci, Regionl Tourism Councillor, “is a synergistic look at the value of two territories in an international market. The web represents today, in the 2.0 global scenario, an indispensible instrument, but one that requires the development of new methods of promotion and integration of new communication languages. Turning to foreign tourists with an effective approach requires us to abandon regionalism and move forward with an enlarged collaboration between the regions and their magnificence”.
“This initiative”, underlined Mauro Parolini, Regional Councillor of Commerce, Tourism and Tertiary Industry of Lombardy, “highlights the value of superregional promotion for the purpose of making our land, culture and food more and more alluring, also with the view of Expo 2015. In order to conquer this challenge at an international level we nee to adopt new strategies and the collaboration of Regions is certainly one of those which has already started to give good results. So we are certain that we need to use social networks, the real window to the world, and the work of the thirty selected bloggers.
The country of origin for potential tourists has also played an important role in the selection of guest bloggers. Among the participants in Blogville 2014 are Jiajia Zhu (China) with over 900,000 followers on Weibo, the most popular social network in China, (www.blog.sina.com.cn/janne1125); Julia Davydova (Russia) a blogger for the travel section of the blog www.bigpicture.ru, that counts over 80,000 visits daily; Angelika Scwaff (Germany) of www. Ichweiss.blogspot.de and responsible for Reiseblogger Kollektiv, which is followed by most of the German travel bloggers; eight bloggers are coming from England and North America from the network partner www.iAmbassador.net which reaches over 5 million online users. For its characteristic creativity and unprecedented innovation Blogsville has recently won first prize at SoMet – Social Media Tourism Symposium (Finland) – the most prestigious international date for the use of social media as an instrument for promotion and marketing in tourism. The project, in the first two years of its development, has already brought Emilia Romagna 120 international bloggers who, thanks to the online publication of over 600 articles and 8,000 photos, has produced over 10 million contacts via social networks (on Twitter alone 320 impressions have been generated). Some of the travel bloggers involved were, as a result of their experiences in the area, also authors of The Art Cities of Emilia Romagna, 2.0 eBook for travellers, in English as well as being browsable by all mobile devices, that within a few weeks of being online got over 10,000 views.
Blogville to explore the UNESCO heritage between Emilia Romagna and Lombardy:
During the ten week stay in total between Emilia Romagna and Lombardy, the bloggers path of art and history will unfold in the following stages:
Bologna, Creative City of Music, Ferrara with its historical centre and the Renaissance Delights of the Este dynasty in the Po Delta, Modena Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande; Ravenna with its eight monuments that are home to the Early Christian mosaics; Parma, whose baptistery is hailed by UNESCO as being among the most valuable astronomical sites worldwide; Milan and Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie; Mantua with the exceptional testimonies of architecture and urbanism of the Renaissance – Palazzo Ducale, Casa del Mantegna and Palazzo Te; Sabbioneta. Vespasiano Gonzaga’s ideal city; Cremona, whose lutherie that has ensured its included on the Intangible World Heritage list.
Ufficio Stampa Apt Servizi – Tel. 0541-430190 –www.aptservizi.com
Regione Lombardia – Segreteria Assessore Commercio Turismo Terziario – tel. 0267655948