Dozza is located south of Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, and sits on a hill overlooking the Sellustra River Valley. It is a small ancient village and is included in the list of “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy” thanks to the art that turns the urban landscape into a canvas.
Walking through the medieval streets of Dozza, you will be immersed in the art that decorates the walls of houses, streets, and squares; different styles blend at every corner, surprising you with colors and shades at every step.
It is a true open-air art gallery, where you can admire over a hundred works created by prestigious names in contemporary art.
The Sforza Fortress
The Sforza Fortress, which dominates Dozza, dates back to the 13th century and has undergone numerous modifications throughout its history. Inside, you can visit the Rocca Museum, which includes rooms with complete furnishings and the art collection of the Malvezzi-Campeggi family. The family resided in the fortress from the 16th century until 1960. The accessible rooms include the hall, bedrooms, kitchens, and even the prisons.
On the second floor of the fortress, you will find the “Center for Studies and Documentation of the Painted Wall” which allows you to delve into the urban art of the city.
Last but not least, in the underground areas of the fortress, you can enjoy excellent local wines at the Regional Enoteca of Emilia Romagna. Here, over 800 labels of regional wines are showcased, and a wine bar is available for tastings guided by professional sommeliers. The evocative setting in the medieval underground and the expertise of the sommeliers make it an experience not to be missed.
The Painted Walls
The painted walls of Dozza were born in 1960 with the Biennial of the Painted Wall, and to this day, about 200 artists have participated in the Biennial, embellishing the external walls of the village houses with their art. The main characteristic is that the artists paint in direct contact with the public and in relation to the surrounding urban context.
The best way to fully enjoy them is to get lost in the streets of the village and admire these unique and original works. If you prefer a more precise and punctual visit to the scattered works in the village, you can also download the In.Dozza app, a real iconographic guide that will help you get to know the works more closely.
Artists’ Walk and Wine Trails
Dozza is located on the hills of the Apennines and therefore enjoys an excellent view of the surrounding landscape. To fully savor its beauty, you can take the so-called “Artists’ Walk,” which is about 250 meters long and follows Via Sant’Anastasia on the edge of the village. The itinerary also includes informative panels dedicated to the artists who participated in the Biennial.
From the Regional Enoteca, on the other hand, you can set off to discover the vineyards surrounding Dozza. The Wine Trails route is 6.5 km long and includes both paved and dirt paths. The trail aims to enhance the landscape and cultural aspects of the area, which you can discover thanks to the explanatory panels along the way.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Dozza is definitely from May to September when you can combine your visit to the city with events such as the “Wine Festival” and the “Biennial of the Painted Wall.” The Biennial takes place every September in odd-numbered years, and you can check the website for all the information regarding the event.
A full day is sufficient for the visit, a day immersed in contemporary art, medieval history, and the wine excellence of the area.
Parking on Via Calanco, just a few meters from the entrance of the village, is free, so you can park there and start your visit.
Opening from March to November.
Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sunday and holidays: 10:00 am – 7:30 pm
Open every day except December 24th and 25th, afternoon of December 31st
Full price: €7.50
Reduced price: €6.00 (students over 18, groups of more than 20 people, FAI and Touring Club Italiano members)
School groups: €2
Free admission (residents, under 18, Card Cultura holders, tourist guides, accredited journalists, disabled visitors with companion)
Animals are not allowed inside the fortress.
The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum’s closing time.
Further information can be found on the website www.fondazionedozza.it, where you can also find useful maps with the museum’s visit routes and, above all, information about guided tours.
Permanent Exhibition/Wine Shop:
Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
EXTRAORDINARY OPENING: Tuesday, August 15th, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Open on Sundays from mid-September to mid-June from 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm
From Tuesday to Sunday, it is open by reservation for groups.
To book tastings and for further information, you can visit the Regional Enoteca website at https://www.enotecaemiliaromagna.it/it/