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One day discovering Dozza, open air museum

A Medieval village near Bologna, known for its precious street art

Italy is a country full of wonderful places, important art cities and Medieval villages looking like a fairytale scenario. In these days I have been busy wandering throughout my region – Emilia Romagna – and nearby, finding places to tell and landscapes to capture with my trusty camera.

In an Autumn Saturday, I stumbled across a Medieval village in the outskirt of Bologna, known for its precious street art: Dozza. This small town – listed in the most beautiful historical villages of Italy – has been hosting the so called Biennale del Muro Dipinto (i.e. biannual exhibit of painted walls) since 1960. The event takes place every September on odd years, when a lot of artists both from Italy and worldwide come here to Dozza and paint the external walls of local buildings, shops and restaurants with colorful murales. Thanks to this interesting art initiative, the town looks like a charming open air museum, that can be visited anytime and for free, of course!

When in Dozza, I took a walk through the two main streets where you can find many buildings mostly soft painted, liven up with some meaningful murales: some tells everyday life, farming or grape harvesting, while others show some simple and funny images, as the big eared giant welcoming visitors to the historical centre.

I roamed through Dozza alleys for a couple of hours, totally fascinated by such a great beauty in such a tiny village, which counts more or less 1000 inhabitants. The street art works are the main characters, making this place be visited by dozen of Italian and foreign tourists everyday, stunned by those paintings which are fully-fledged an important part of the city view.

Take a look to my pics, I hope to catch your attention and make you to visit this wonderful historical village located just a few km from Imola.

The Angel of Dozza is the symbol of the town. Painted by the artist Giuliana Bonazza, it represents some kind of genie in a bottle, tender looking, that hugs the front door and watches at people entering, protecting the home and the whole village:

The Angel, Dozza street art

The Angel, Dozza street art

Valentina Grossi

Travelling with Valentina


Visit Bologna: helpful hints


Bologna has an international and transcontinental airport: Marconi BLQ. A shuttle bus called Aerobus connects easily the airport to the city centre and to the Central Station (rides every 15 minutes, it takes 30 minutes and costs 6€).

Bologna is just in the middle of the Italian system of high speed train lines, so that you can reach Florence in 30 minutes, Milan in 1 hour and Rome in 2 hours by train (check tickets and fares on the two main companies Trenitalia and Italo).  The Central Railway Station is in the city centre, 15 minutes walking from the main square.


The best way to visit Bologna is on foot! The single ticket costs 1,2 € (1,5 if you buy it on the bus) and it last 75 minutes. You can choose different types of ticket – daily etc. – for more information visit Tper website. There is also the option of bike sharing (provided by mobike), that’s 0,30 cent every 30 minutes ride. Find more tips about cycling services in town at the Dynamo – aka Velostazione. Car sharing is provided by two companies: Enjoy – for regular cars and Corrente – for electric cars.

What to do

Bologna is the capital city of Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy. It is really famous for its food (tortellini, mortadella, ragù alla bolognese, tagliatelle, lasagne, anyone?). Here you can find advices for some places where you can eat local food. Don’t miss a tour at FICO, the biggest Italian Food theme park! For more information check on FICO website.

Bologna is the city of arches (i.e. portici), there are 38km of them just in the centre of the city! Here you can find the University of Bologna that is the oldest University in the occidental world. The main monuments in the city centre are the Two Towers, the St Petronio’s church, the Neptune’s fountain and – on the hills – St Lucas sanctuary. Italia Slow Tour users have a special discount on City Red Bus & San Luca Express toursDiscover more about this amazing city.

Special tips: if you consider to take some tours nearby, we recommend the fortress Rocchetta Mattei and the Dozza village with its amazing street art.

Where to sleep

The best place to sleep in Bologna is the city centre or the areas near nearby, to visit all the city easily. In Bologna frequently take place some events and fairs, check the calendar just to be sure to book in advance since the city gets crowded!

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