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 (no train or bus). Why is Dozza an hidden treasure? Well, in a few km you have a permanent street art museum to visit day and night, a well preserved castle that 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 paitings
You arrive in 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, the roman street that links Bologna to Rimini. 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 urban landscape and decorates walls, streets and squares, flooding light and colour in every corner.
Art near a window, typical in Dozza
What to see
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.
At the same time Dozza is not the classic tourist town with souvenir shops and coaches of tourists. If you are visiting on a weekday or a Sunday, you will certainly find curious visitors, but it's still basically a simple village, with a few shops and its citizens, who walk safely between the streets and stop to chat on the benches.
But Dozza is not just the city of painted walls. There's also a beautiful castle builted in 1250, Rocca Sforzesca, that you can visit. 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. You can find Albana, Sangiovese, Pignoletto wine but also a small selection of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale of Modena and a wine bar for guided tastings.
Where to eat
Well, it's still a food blog right?! So I know what you want to know. If you're looking for an elegant location with view on the hills you can choose Canè and ask them for truffles and porcini mushrooms in season. If you prefer cozy places who pays lot of care in the selection of ingredients go at La Scuderia, just in front of the castle, and try their tagliata with Cervia's salt or theri 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]
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