Dozza is a small hilltop village that doubles as an open-air gallery, with beautiful frescoes covering its houses and shops. Every second September during Nuova Biennale del Muro Dipinto (Biennial Exhibition of the Painted Wall), artists come from all over Italy to paint the outside of Dozza’s buildings. Walk through the cobbled streets admiring the artwork and visit Rocca Sforzesca, the town’s 500-year-old castle where you can enjoy wine tastings in a historic cellar.
Cross the drawbridge and enter the fortress Rocca Sforzesca. The castle was built in the 15th century on the ruins of an older castle and remodeled again in the 16th century by the Malvezzi-Campeggi family. Tour the castle’s apartments, great hall, parlors, kitchen and bedchambers. Some of the apartments are now used as exhibition space. The fortress offers fantastic views over the village and surrounding vineyards.
In the depths of Rocca Sforzesca, you’ll find the old prison. See the display of torture devices once used on prisoners. The Enoteca Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna wine cellar is also located here. Try wines from the Emilia and Romagna regions with sommeliers to guide you. Purchase local olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Dozza is known for its gourmet fare. Wander the lanes until you find a cozy trattoria bedecked with art or enjoy dining al fresco at a terrace restaurant with a view over the rolling green hills. Start with hand-made tagliatelle or tortellini before a main meal of grilled meats, bread and soft cheese. Try a glass of Albana di Romagna, a locally made white wine.
Dozza is located about 40-minutes’ drive from Bologna. Dozza is full of small lanes and only locals are allowed to drive into the village. Leave your car at the parking lot by the town’s arched entrance. The cobblestone lanes and small size of the town make it easy to explore on foot. A number of accommodations are available in the village, including one hosted in a 14th century monastery.