Sunday 16 February 2020

The City of Murals - Dozza

So if you’ve ever admired the work of Banksy and love murals as much as I do, then 30 minutes from Bologna leads you to the small town of Dozza, a town covered (and I mean literally) in murals! I know, I’d also never heard about it before, but my friend Juliette had been going on about how much she wanted to go and my boyfriend also suggested the same so we all decided to make a trip there, and I can say it didn’t disappoint! 

Here’s why I think Dozza should be on your itinerary the next time you’re around Bologna and want a chilled day!

After just 30 mins we arrived at the quaint town of Dozza. It was very easy to find and there was a big parking space right beside the entrance of the town which was so convenient!  We went by car which is the best way to get there but if this isn’t an option for you, there are several buses from Bologna which take you to Dozza. The quickest and easiest way to get from Bologna centre to Dozza with public transport is by taking the number 25 bus from Via Rizzoli or the towers (direction Gomito) which will take about 27minutes. There are also 101 or 147 buses but these take much longer (like almost 2 hours!) so I highly recommend trying to take the 25 bus if you can :) 

 When we walked up towards the “centre” of Dozza, we were met by this castle! Who would have thought such a small town would have a castle! It was such a nice surprise and then we were soon struck by all the murals decorating almost all the walls and even the ceilings! Dozza is like an open-air museum, you can gaze at more than a hundred works by famous artists. The event of bringing prestigious artists to Dozza to paint on its walls started in 1960, and every 2 years it brings street artists and painters from all over the world.

At this point, we hadn’t had breakfast before we left, so our first priority was to find coffee and brioche (or pastries in English). Dozza is an extremely small town and so there are a limited number of cafes or restaurants (there was also only one ATM and tabbachi from what we could see) however just a few minutes from the castle we found a cute little cafe to have our breakfast. The prices were not over priced and we were able to fuel ourselves up for the many picture taking that was to follow! 

After some much needed coffee, we headed out to explore and were not disappointed by the amount of murals that surrounded the town. Literally every little street that we walked, we were able to see the beautifully decorated walls, some paintings were confusing to say the least but the creativity of the artists was amazing.

It really doesn’t take long to see all of Dozza as the streets are all linked. It is basically one long street which takes you around the town, we actually enjoyed having the time to really admire and appreciate the street art and not having to feel like we had to hurry because “there was so much to see”. 

After strolling around it was time for lunch. We had already booked a reservation for a restaurant called Osteria di Dozza which we found on TripAdvisor. I HIGHLY recommend making reservations before you make a journey IF you know that the place you’re visiting is small or if you know the exact place you want to eat at. Like I said before, Dozza only has a few restaurants, so when it gets to lunch or dinner time, the restaurants fill up FAST and you might end up having to wait a long time or end up eating at a place you don’t particularly fancy. When we arrived at Osteria di Dozza we were quickly taken to our table by the friendly staff and were given the menus immediately. The decor was so unique and it had such a homely feel overall. Since Dozza is still in the Emilia Romagna region, the menu was predominantly foods from this region, such as tortellini, lasagne and ragu. We decided to order "Gran Tagliere di salumi" which is basically a plate of various ham and cheese accompanied by tigelle and crescentine. We then ordered a main dish each along with a glass of the house wine (red) which was served in the cutest jug! We were surprised and happy to see that the prices were all extremely reasonable, the portions were VERY generous and the service was perfect! (They also have wifi for any of you who need it!).
As we had already seen all of Dozza by this point, we were able to enjoy a relaxing meal and didn’t feel like we needed to rush out to see more. In fact, we stayed eating for almost 3 hours!

After our big lunch, we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant  and decided to head back up towards the castle to see what it was like. Rocca Sforzesca (the castle) is only 5 Euros to enter and you can see many different things such as the cutting well and prisons! You can also look out from the tower of the castle which gives you an amazing view of Dozza and its surroundings :)

While we were looking around, we stumbled across the basement which is just ahead of the reception desk. This part of the castle is free to enter so if you don’t feel like you want to enter the castle itself but still want to see the wine cell, you can! Here we found the largest variety of wines and spirits spread along the walls of the cell. We were in awe at the selection and were taken aback by the prices of the bottles! The cheapest bottle was just under 4 Euros! They really had everything from grappa to rose and everything in between. Not sure which one to purchase? They have self-service wine tasting!! We couldn’t believe the simple and convenient set up that they had in the cell, where you can taste any of the wines in the machine for a small price. In order to use this little piece of heaven (unless you’re Juliette and don’t like wine!), you must first go to the cash desk in the cell and ask for a card. They will ask for a form of ID so make sure you have it with you. This card allows you to taste the wine (or wines in our case) of your choice for as little as 70c per tasting. You must insert the card into the machine before using it and then you’re ready to go! The information of your wine tasting is all stored on the card which you then have to present to the staff to pay. We tried 7 different wines between the three of us and in total we paid only 9.60. This was definitely an unexpected and enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend you try it yourself if you’re ever in Dozza!

Overall, we had a great relaxing time in Dozza, it was the perfect Sunday getaway and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore another part of Emilia Romagna! 

Check out my Vlog on Dozza below!


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