Located some 20 km away from Bologna, Dozza is known as one of Italy’s prettiest villages. When I talked to my hosts for BlogVille about my interest in street art they suggested a visit to Dozza. This charming little town holds an event every two years where artists come to paint murals on the walls of houses in the historic centre.
Getting to Dozza seemed simple enough, I took a quick glance at the map and figured I just had to take the 101 bus from Bologna and get off at Toscanella, so off I went. However, not all the 101 buses pass through Toscanella. I quickly learned that some have their last stop at Castel San Pietro. Fortunately for me, someone realized that I was totally lost and explained that I had to take the next 101 bus with a sign to Imola. Those are the ones that go through Toscanella.
Once I got off the bus, I walked about 3 km up a mild hill to get to the charms of Dozza; housed within the walls of an imposing fortress. It was early on a Wednesday afternoon and the streets were empty, except for a few locals and just a handful of tourists. Almost all the bars and shops were closed, giving the place a very serene atmosphere.
The Biennale di Muro Dipinto is held in Dozza every two years in September. The next one will take place in 2013. The event has run since 1960 and it brings artists from Italy and abroad to paint beautiful murals on the walls of the historic centre; transforming the town into a big open-air gallery. It actually started as an effort to put this tiny village “on the map” and attract tourism. It was a bit like the case of Chemainus on Vancouver Island, on Canada’s west coast.