Dozza, the capital of modern frescoes

dozzaITALY and art have always made a perfect blend – but in a small village called Dozza, the two go together in a rather surprising way.

Dozza, in the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy midway between Imola and Bologna, is known as a Citta d’Arte and hosts a biennial “Painted Wall” festival.

The event, held every other September (this year’s runs from 11th-15th September), was begun in the 1960s as a means of putting Dozza on the map. It has certainly done so.

It attracts artists from all over Italy to paint murals around the historic centre and transform the entire village into a vast open-air gallery and tourist magnet.

With its magnificent 13th century castle and whisper-quiet streets, Dozza was already acclaimed as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. Its Painted Wall event adds even more lustre to its appeal.

Enterprising locals offer wine tasting, castle visits, fashion shopping tours and much else and the little hotel-restaurant, Albergo Ristorante Cané, in Via XX settembre, makes a perfect stop-over before heading for Bologna airport and a flight home.