domenica 10 novembre 2013

Dozza, unexpected charme not far from home

I've never thought I could be charmed by something so close to home.
Dozza is a small village over the hills between Bologna and Imola.
Every morning, driving along the road towards my work place, I can see the shape of its castle over the hills.
Considering that Dozza is visited by international tourists, it is unacceptable that I've never been there! 
The origin of the village dates back to the Bronze Age, but the first written evidences date back the 12th century.
Thanks to its position, Dozza played a strategic role in the dominion of the via Emilia. 
During the centuries, the Malvezzi-Campeggi family built strong walls around the village, and the present shape is the result of Caterina Sforza's leadership.
The noble family lived in the castle up to 1960.
Now the castle is open to the public and hosts the Emilia Romagna Regional Winery in its basement. 

Me and my friend Riccardo arrive in Dozza in the early afternoon of Saturday.
It's a windy but sunny day and we start our half-day-adventure from the streets of the town centre.
All the walls of the streets are painted by local and international artists that come there every two years during "Biennale del Muro Dipinto", the Biennal Festival of Painted walls.
Walking through the street it seems to lose the sense of time.

I feel like a paparazzi, I cannot stop to take pictures at every single fresco in every corner.
Surrounded by artworks, we stop a few minutes in front of every one of them, trying to read the story hidden in the paintings.
After the walk, we visit the Winery. 

It hosts a wide selection of the regional wines and products, from the most known Trebbiano, Sangiovese and Chardonnay, to the less known Pagadebit, Rambela, or Burson.

The best way to know wines is tasting them, and what better than tasting them in the Regional Winery where a sommelier can explain you all the quality of a wine!

In the hall of the Castle, the staff is offering Cagnina with roast Marroni (chestnuts) to celebrate San Martino.
The guided tasting starts at 6 pm.
The president of Castel del Rio Chestnut Consortium introduces us the main features of Marrone di Castel del Rio and the environment where the chesnut trees grow up.

The first wine we taste is a white wine, called Famoso, or Rambela, produced in the area of Ravenna.
It is combined with a sheep ricotta cheese.Then, a red Novello from Sangiovese grapes, combined with Grana Padano cheese and chestnut tree honey.
Finally, again the Cagnina wine, combined with Marroni di Castel del Rio compote and roast Marroni.

Before going home we buy some bottles of wine, to be tasted at home with friends.
How to reach Dozza:
From Bologna, follow the via Emilia towards Imola. When you get to Toscanella di Dozza, turn right into via Sabbioso and follow the street for some kilometres.

What to see:
- Rocca Sforzesca, the castle
- Enoteca Regionale dell'Emila Romagna, the Regional Winery in the basement of the castle
- The Painted Walls in the town centre 

More photos: