Dozza is a small middle age village near Imola. It's still not known among tourists, even if it's just 35min far from Bologna, and you need a car to go there. Why is Dozza a hidden treasure? Well, in a few km you have a permanent street art museum to visit day and night, a well-preserved castle that also hosts the local wine promotion board headquarter in its basement.
Not enough? Ok, food is great too. Come in to read more.
Via XX Settembre, the central street of Dozza full of street art and paintings
A romantic landscape
You arrive at Dozza passing next to farmhouses, peach orchards and Albana's vineyards, a landscape that reminds of Tuscany countryside, even if it's just a few minutes from Via Emilia.
Leave the car just behind the middle age gate and walk into this out of time village. After a few steps, you start to recognize the perfect balance between new and old.
In a typical Medieval village, art becomes an urban landscape and decorates walls, streets and squares, flooding light and colours in every corner.
Art near a window, typical in Dozza
What to visit in Dozza
Dozza is an open-air museum, where you can admire more than a hundred works by prestigious names of contemporary art created for Biennale del Muro Dipinto, an art event started in 1960 that every 2 years brings street artists like Ericailcane and painters from all over the world.
But Dozza is not the classic tourist town with souvenir shops and coaches of tourists.
If you visit Dozza on the weekend you will certainly find curious visitors, but it's still basically a simple village. A small grocery, old local playing cards in a bar, kids who safely play between the coloured streets.
But Dozza is not just the city of painted walls. There's also a beautiful castle built in 1250, Rocca Sforzesca. Kids will love its mysteries, like the cutting well and the prisons, and foodies will be amazed by the cuisine with vintage chef tools and fireplace.
After the visit, that takes about 1h, what's better than a glass of wine?
Rocca Sforzesca di Dozza
Rocca basement hosts Enoteca Regionale, local wine promotion board headquarter, where you can find more than 800 selected labels from all Emilia Romagna.
Albana, Sangiovese, Pignoletto fill the shelves. A small selection of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale of Modena and a wine bar with guided tastings complete your journey into local flavours.
Where to eat in Dozza
Well, this is still a food blog, right? So I know what you want to know.
If you're looking for an elegant location with view of the hills Canè is the place. Ask for truffles and porcini mushrooms in season.
If you prefer cosy places who pay a lot of care in the selection of ingredients, go to La Scuderia, just in front of the castle. Try their tagliata with Cervia's salt or tenderloin with porcini mushrooms.
Via XX Settembre, 53, Dozza (BO)
Tel. 0542 678103
Via XX Settembre, 27, Dozza (BO)
Tel. 0542 679200
Tenderloin with porcini mushrooms at La Scuderia, Dozza
How to arrive
By car: from Bologna take A14 to Ancona and exit at Castel San Pietro. Then follow to Imola and after Toscanella turn right.
My suggestion is to visit Dozza from spring to early autumn. If you'd like to spend a perfect daytrip outside Bologna you can visit Ravenna the morning and when you return you can stop in Dozza and spend afternoon and dinner.
[Photos: Roberto Ferrari, Matteo Fini, Emanuele Rosso, Tiberio Frascari]