ocated some 20 km away from Bologna, Dozza is a charming little town known to be 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, as it holds an event every two years where artists are invited to paint murals on the walls of houses within the historic center.
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 final stop at Castel San Pietro. Fortunately for me, someone realized I was totally lost and explained I had to take the next 101 bus with a sign to Imola; which are the ones that do 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 impossing fortress. It was early on a Wednesday afternoon and the streets were deserted 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 been running since 1960 and it brings artists from Italy and abroad to paint beautiful murals on the walls of the historic center; 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 little bit like the case of Chemainus in Vancouver Island, in Canada’s west coast.
To this day, it’s possible to admire some of the earliest works that date from the 1960s onwards; they actually restore the murals every few years to help in their conservation. Since the start of this event, Dozza has evolved into the capital of modern frescoes. Additionally, since the last couple of editions and thanks to curator Fabiola Naldi, the Muro Dipinto has also invited artists from the grafitti domain to take part in it; adding to the already interesting mix of styles present in Dozza.
If you’re headed to Bologna, you should definitely consider paying this charming little town a visit. For more information about the Biennale del Muro Dipinto, you can visit their website (in Italian only). Also, for more photos & murals check out my photo gallery here!
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