This recent year has been exceptionally successful for Bologna Connect, despite it’s recent birth in 2012. This past Thursday January 30, the founders Laura Bizzari and Antonella Orlandi organized an evening to announce their upcoming ventures for 2013. Other businesses within Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna region were invited to exchange ideas and propose future projects. Bologna Connect reminded the audience of their main focus as a not-for-profit tourism organization: to globally promote Bologna and the Emilia Romagna region and it’s businesses, through regional products, gastronomy, culture and language.
Orlandi and Bizzari overviewed their endeavors from 2013 , such as the CIFTIS Festival in Peking, China, the “Discover Bologna” promotional event with American author Mary Tolaro Noyes in San Francisco, USA, the International Festival of Design in Hangzhou, China, and the “Discover Bologna” event of Russia’s promotional series “Year of Tourism: Italy-Russia.”. As for 2014, they have organized Emilia Romagna Gastronomy Lessons in Tokyo with the acclaimed pasta maker Beniamino Baleotti (this Monday February 3), appear as guest speakers advertising the Italian region in Sao Paolo, Brazil (March 27) and in Copenhagen, Denmark (April 8), along with re-appear at the CIFTIS Festival in Peking, China (this coming April). At the moment, they continue to collaborate with businesses in countries including New Zealand and Australia, as well as a variety of cities such as Atlanta, San Francisco, Bueno Aires, Seoul, Sofia and Helsinki.
The founders emphasized that even though they focus on international promotion of Emilia Romagna, primarily in Eastern countries, they also promote the Italian region in national and local events. For example, this past November 2013, Laura Bizzari interviewed the author Mary Tolaro- Noyes, an American author with Sicilian roots who has not only written two travel guides about Bologna, but also describes the city as “her home.”
Other future projects for 2014 include the introduction of two new programs: “Bologna Connect International Ambassadors” and “Ask Bologna Connect.” Orlandi and Bizzari explained that they intend for Bologna and Emilia Romagna to have an international presence and visibility, by providing more touristic and promotional services and assistance in a variety of countries. At the moment, they have an ambassadors in China and Brazil. The idea of “Ask Bologna Connect” was born after participants of their events this past year have inquired where they can find regional products, recipes, travel advice in their own countries and online. “Ask Bologna Connect” would serve as online space to answer these questions, as well as create an online forum where anybody with general inquiry, whether it be about regional products, culture, language, can discover more about Bologna and Emilia Romagna.
The event was also sponsored by the AnnaMaria Trattoria, providing freshly prepared treats and wine.
If you are interested in contacting or working with Bologna Connect, please contact us at email@example.com. We are happy to receive inquiries regarding business collaboration as well as general information about Bologna and Emilia Romagna!
by Candice Whitney Bologna Connect