I had two Saturdays—my days off—while working on the farm near Dozza. I was also on my own for lunch, so both weeks I went into town to dine.
Dozza was very close to the farm—you really just walk up the grass hill, then five minutes down a straight road you enter the town through an archway. There are two parallel streets about two blocks long, with the castle at the other end, and that’s the old center.
The walls in Dozza are covered in over a hundred paintings by contemporary artists, the oldest date I saw was perhaps in the '70s.
Every two years there’s a festival in Dozza where artists are invited to paint in the town. So it's basically a free outdoor art museum!
After walking down the two main streets, I paid 5 euros to visit the castle.
There was a wedding going on upstairs (with a horrendous piano player—I really hope it was some very young relative), so that room was off limits. My visit was brief, I don’t think I stayed longer than a half an hour.
From the tower upstairs you can see around 360 degrees through the windows, by actually walking around the circle to see each side.
Afterwards I began sketching here (below) for the weekend's Moment Catchers sketch, but there was nowhere to sit and it was lightly sprinkling, so in the end I snapped some pictures and then headed to lunch just before 1.
I worked on the painting more that night, and finished it Sunday. (You can see my finished sketch here at March's Moment Catchers roundup—mine's #21!)
I ate lunch at the restaurant Victoria had recommended (and where she used to work—many, many years ago), and it later turned into a “treat yourself” meal when I had way too much wine left after I finished my pasta, so I got a slice of chocolate cake for dessert and drew the meal out longer.
It was raining still when I left, so I headed back to the farm.
A week later, my second Saturday trip to Dozza was much sunnier. I went in a bit later, because I knew there wasn’t much to “do” or “see”—sat and read my book in the sun for a while before heading to that same restaurant at 1:30.
I’d already picked out what I was going to order (polenta), and even had a backup in case it wasn’t technically winter anymore (the menu said it’s served only in winter). Except when I walked into the restaurant, the waitress told me it was “not possible.” I couldn’t hide the confused look on my face, and I asked if I could come back later—in a half hour? An hour? “It’s not possible,” she said. So perhaps there was an all-day private event or something.
Glitches are the norm, so I went back out to the street and mailed a postcard from the post box that was right outside that restaurant. (Global Snail Mailing!)
Then I checked out the two restaurants on the other end of the street, down by the castle, and found that one had polenta. I ate there, it was fine (I’d have enjoyed pasta more, but I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t tried the polenta, now would I?), and then I headed back to the farm to help Victoria out with a few things that needed to get done before an AirBnb guest arrived.
If you’re in the area, Dozza is a cool town to spend an afternoon! Part of a day is really all you’d need for a stroll, to visit the castle, look at all of the paintings, plus a meal.
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