Visiting Comune Dozza Imolese: The Hidden Town Near Bologna

Surrounded by the rolling hills of the Emilia-Romagna region lies a hidden gem waiting to be discovered: the charming Comune of Dozza Imolese. Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Bologna, this quaint medieval village awaits you. In fact, it’s been rated within the top 10 most beautiful villages in Italy (‘Borghi più belli d’Italia”) by a non-profit association in Italy.

One thing I love doing most is venturing off the beaten path. When I discovered Dozza, I fell in love with the quaint cobblestone streets lined with centuries-old buildings and covered in colorful murals. This town exudes creativity with all the stunning artwork. It really resembles an open-air art museum. Read on to learn more about this beautiful place in Italy!

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About Dozza Imolese

The main attractions of Dozza is its outdoor art gallery. Every two years since 1960, the “Biennial of the Painted Wall” has been held in Dozza, where artists from around the world are invited to paint murals on the walls of the village houses. These murals showcase many different themes, including local traditions and folklore to contemporary social issues. When I visited, I saw murals painted from artists all over the world.

Dozza’s history dates back to ancient times and the village flourished during the Middle Ages,. Throughout its history, Dozza has been involved in challenging conflicts, including battles between neighboring city-states and invasions.

How to Get to Comune Dozza Imolese

By Train + Cab

You can take a 25-minute train journey from Bologna to Imolese and from there you’ll need to take a taxi to Dozza Italy. It’s a 15-minute drive from the Imolese train station. It might be hard to call a taxi while in Dozza so I’d recommend having some taxi company contacts ahead to avoid being stuck there.

You could take a taxi to Dozza all the way from Bologna but this option for cost €65 – €80 each way which is quite steep.

Have a kind host take you there!

To get to Comune Dozza Imolese, you’ll likely start from Bologna and visit on a day trip. When I visited from Bologna, I stayed at this amazing mansion house turned hotel! The owner was so very kind. He drove me to Dozza and showed me around. I was so thrilled because as you’ll find out below, the options to get to Dozza are very expensive. Just ask him ahead to see if he’ll be happy to take you as there’s no guarantee!

By Car

From Bologna, the most convenient way to reach Dozza is by car as public transport is very limited and there’s no easy transport link to directly get you there. The drive takes approximately 40 minutes by car.

You can hire a car in Bologna through Discover Cars to find the best deal and for reliable customer service.

By Tour

The tours are quite limited to Dozza, making you think it really must be a hidden gem! I however, found 2 different tours you could take. The price is pretty expensive but if you can visit with a group and split the cost, it might be worth it. The first one I found is from a company called Tours by Locals which is a company I really recommend as you get to go around with an expert local. This tour costs $450 and accommodates 7 guests.

Another tour option with GetYourGuide allows you to also visit a farm in addition to Dozza on a private tour.

How Long do you need to visit Dozza?

It’s a pretty small town so I’d say about an hour and a half is enough time. If you stay for lunch, you could spend even longer. I’d recommend Ristorante La Scuderia which is in front of the castle. However, there aren’t even that many restaurants I noticed.

How to Spend the Perfect Day in Dozza Imolese

1. Admire the Murals

Well, the main attraction in Dozza Imolese is all the art-filled streets. So many stunning pieces of art on every corner can be found here. I loved taking photos of it all and you will too!

So enjoy a leisurely stroll through the streets of Dozza and admire the colorful streets and murals on the facades of buildings. These murals, created by various artists add to the town’s unique charm.

You won’t need a certain agenda to see this town as it can easily be explored by foot. The historic town center is full of medieval vibes. I loved seeing all the arched entrances too.

2. Visit Rocca Sforzesca

3. Enjoy Lunch at Ristorante La Scuderia

Ristorante La Scuderia is located right next to the castle and is a good place to try the local food.

4. Wine Tasting

As part of your visit, don’t miss the chance to sample some of the excellent wines produced in the Emilia-Romagna region. The Enoteca Regionale offers a selection of wines from local vineyards, allowing you to taste the flavors of the area. There are over 600 wine labels here! Lambrusco is a local label you can try among many others.

5. Attend the Biennial Exhibition of the Painted Wall

If you happen to visit Dozza during the Biennial Exhibition of the Painted Wall (Biennale del Muro Dipinto), you’re in for a treat. This event, held every two years, showcases new murals painted by contemporary artists, adding fresh colors and creativity to the town’s walls.

There have been over 200 artists who have painted artwork on the facades and streets of Dozza since 1960. Some of the famous ones include Sebastian Matta, Bruno Saetti, Tono Zancanaro, Renzo Grazzini, Giuseppe Zigaina, Luca Alinari, Bruno Ceccobelli and Ubaldo Della Volpe.

6. Explore the Countryside

Surrounding Dozza Imolese are beautiful countryside landscapes. Consider taking a hike in the nearby hills to enjoy the views all around!

Hopefully, you enjoyed learning more about this beautiful town in the Emilia-Romagna region. If you’re looking for another hidden gem in the area be sure to check out Comacchio, a colorful town that looks like Burano!

For more reading, you may also like:
⛪ Things to do in Ravenna – The Mosaic Town in Italy
🌈 Comacchio, Italy: Burano’s Look-alike Town
🇮🇹 Hidden Gems in Italy
💎 30 Best Hidden Gems in Europe
🌈 Most Colorful Places in the World
📸 Most Beautiful Cities in Europe
👩 Solo Female Travel Guide to Italy
🇮🇹 For more travel inspo visit my Italy section

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