Perched on a hill overlooking the valley of the river Sellustra, surrounded by vineyards, Dozza is a medieval village 40 minutes from Bologna, right on the border between Emilia and Romagna, classified as one of the “100 most beautiful borghi (historic villages) of Italy”.
The entrance to the village is clearly marked by a massive arched wall. The village is crossed by two main roads. Take Via XX Settembre first. Stop by Piazza Zotti to admire the Palazzo Comunale and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the 12th century on the ruins of a Roman church.
Follow the street until you get to the massive Rocca Sforzesca. Built in the 13th century as a fortress to control and defend the surrounding territory, it later became a noble palace belonging to a succession of various local families. Today, it houses a museum where you can visit the old apartments, the prisons, the torture rooms and the walkways on the towers. The basement houses the Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna, where you can choose among 1,000 labels from 260 regional wine producers. The Enoteca also hosts a series of fun and instructional events, including courses, meetings with local producers, and tastings with a sommelier.
On the way back, take Via De Amicis to admire the painted walls, a unique feature of this village. Every two years in September, artists from all over the world gather here to paint the walls of buildings around the village.
Stop for lunch at one of the local restaurants to savor tagliatelle, garganelli or tortelli di ricotta and sage, grilled meats, or piadina with a local cheese called squacquerone and cold cuts, to be washed down with one of the local wines of course, such as Sangiovese or Pignoletto.
If you love exploring the ‘borghi’ (picturesque historic villages) of Emilia-Romagna, see also: