Thoughts and photos from Travel Blogger Elevator in Genova, Italy

Genova -Genoa, Italy - Travel Blogger Elevator - Travel Photography by © Lola Akinmade Åkerström

I’m writing this summary way too late because Travel Blogger Elevator (TBE) was held last October. It was such a fantastic event that I needed to write about it right away but unfortunately, I didn’t get around to it which I explained here.

Now that I’ve finally surfaced for air, I can’t wait to rave about Genova and specifically, TBE.

First, Travel Blogger Elevator


I’d initially met Michele Aggiato in Manchester, and when the email from him inviting me to Genova to run a few workshops arrived, I was honored.

In a nutshell:

Travel Blogger Elevator is the Italian travel blogger conference that aims to facilitate the exchange of know-how, experience, ideas and trends about travel and destination blogging in Italy. Travel Blogger Elevator also wants to become a strategic communication and conversation opportunity for Italian destinations helping stakeholders in Italy networking with the local and international blog sphere….Official description

For me, it was the best conference geared towards travel bloggers I’ve attended to date. Hands down.

And I’ll tell you why.


From the moment I arrived in Genova, Michele’s attention to detail was immediately apparent. From organized shuttles transferring us right on time from Milano Malpensa to Genova to the exquisite Grand Hotel Savoia which hosted the conference, we were already in for a treat before we gathered at the stunning Palazzo della Meridiana (pictured above) for our welcome aperitif.

Each venue was so visually engrossing that it kept me on my toes wondering where we would head off to next. From absolutely delicious lunches and dinners to our venues which felt more like intricate museums, meeting with fellow bloggers I admire and respect, as well as a solid (and practical) program overall, TBE’s sophomore showing was solid.

I ran four workshops; two each on the following topics – Finding your travel blog’s voice – and – Building lasting relationships with your local tourism board.

While I would have loved to sit in on some of the other fantastic workshops as well, what I appreciated about this format was that those who registered to come learn from us instructors got so many chances to walk away with practical advice and instantly-applicable tips.

I normally take tons of pictures but I took so few at TBE. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was so swept up in what was going on around me. The small intimate size of the conference made it so. We were all there in the moment. Present. Soaking up our environs and learning from each other.

As counter-intuitive as this may sound, I was glad to put my camera aside for a moment to just absorb it all.

Food, Oh Glorious Food


One of my highlights at TBE centered around food. Decadent spreads of food we got to gorge on for lunch and dinner. I mean, we were in Italy so I knew Italians would gastronomically represent. TBE didn’t disappoint.

How can you not love a conference where one of the hosts runs around serving deliciously creamy risotto right out of his pot? Special thanks to Best Western Italy for that closing party. That was hot!

No! I will not list every item consumed here and yes! every item was memorable including some fluffy lightly breaded jumbo prawns and fish weapon unleashed by Capurro Catering. Oh, the memories.

I normally take tons of food shots but somehow, I managed to walk away with only two shots. I was busy eating. Sorry.

Photo Gallery – Day and night in Genova

Genova itself is a port city and I arrived with no expectations. What I found was understated beauty and history at every turn. I had no idea parts of its old town were designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. Residents went about their day yet took time to politely acknowledge us. There was genuine down-to-earth warmth that this surprisingly photogenic city emitted, and I fully basked in its glow.

Here are a few shots I took while out and about in Genova.








If my raving doesn’t convince you to check out TBE this year, maybe this official video that summarizes our collective experience in Genova might nudge you.

Special thanks to Michele Aggiato, Grand Hotel Savoia, and the entire TBE team and sponsors for inviting me to be part of a memorable event. Extremely honored.