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Official Tourist Information Site of Imola's Area

Rocca Sforzesca - Dozza's fortress


The original fortress dates back to the mid 13th century. It was built in a raised position overlooking the Via Emilia, an important throughway. In medieval times, it was fought over by Imola and Bologna. The actual fortress was erected on the ruins of the medieval one in the 15th century under the Riario Sforza family. In 1499 it was besieged and taken by Cesare Borgia who had invaded Romagna with his powerful army. After Borgia's brief dominion, Dozza became property of the Papal State which ruled it through the Comune of Imola. In the 16th century the Malvezzi and the Campeggi - two influential families from Bologna - rivalled for Dozza.

In 1528 the Malvezzi were invested with the title of Counts of Dozza. However, the Campeggi were the first to rule over Dozza thanks to Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggi who had close ties with the Pope (he was an Apostolic Legate). The Campeggi ruled over Dozza until the death of their last male heir (1676). Years later, Dozza became a possession of the Malvezzi thanks to the marriage of Matteo Malvezzi and Francesca Maria Campeggi.

Following the Napoleonic invasion, the feudal system was abolished but the Marquises Malvezzi-Campeggi maintained the possession of Dozza as their private property. The family lived inside the fortress until 1960, when the last direct heir died and the Municipality of Dozza purchased it. In late 16th century, under the Campeggi family, the fortress was transformed into a noble residence since it was no longer able to resist the assault of modern artillery.

The construction works ended in 1594. Today a drawbridge, emulating the medieval one, leads inside the fortress. The building features brick walls, but also medieval elements such as loopholes, trap doors, the moat, etc. The central courtyard is embellished by two Renaissance-style loggias. On the first floor there are Renaissance and Medieval rooms. The Renaissance section includes the Main Hall (overlooking the communication trenches of the southern wall and featuring a large red tapestry with the Malvezzi and Campeggi's coat of arms and portraits of members of the two families), the armoury (with a carved ceiling), the Citizens Room (housing a large portrait of the Campeggi family, 18th furniture and a lacunar ceiling), the Red Room (containing a mirror with a Baroque frame) and the Bedroom of Pope Pius VII.

The Medieval section includes the Bedroom of the Lord of the Castle, the Private Chapel, the Razor Well (a trap door) and the Guest Bedroom.

The first floor also houses the Painted Wall Art Gallery and the Norma Mascellani Collection. The fortress has two towers connected by a communication trench. The "Torrione dei Bolognesi" is the smaller one and it was build in the 16th century. The "Torresino" is the largest and the oldest one (1180). On the ground floor you can visit the kitchen, the laundry, the prisons, the dungeons and the torture chamber with the ditch of the tortured.

The fortress' cellars house the Enoteca Regionale dell'Emilia Romagna, a permanent exhibition of top-quality wines produced at regional level. It is possible to purchase wines and to taste them.


Address: P.le della Rocca, 1 - 40060 Dozza (BO)


Standard / Winter time: Monday-Saturday 10.00 -13.00 and 14.00-18.00; Sunday and holidays 10.00 - 19.30;
Daylight saving time / Summer time:  Monday-Saturday 10.00 -13.00 and 14.00 - 19.00;  Sunday and holidays 10.00 - 19.30;
Closing day: No
Opening periods: Open all year round. Closed on Christmas Day and New Year's morning.
Entrance fee: Euro 5.00
Reduced rates: Reduced groups Euro 4.00 (over 20 units); reduced members of FAI and Italian Touring Club Euro 4.00; reduced students € 3.00; reduced school groups Euro 1.00
Free: under 18, residents of the Municipality of Dozza, Card Musei Metropolitani di Bologna, students in humanistic studies, disabled people.


How to get there

How to get to Dozza


Run along Via Calanco until you reach the village.

From Bologna, follow the highroad Emilia and turn right at the junction.

Info on the Tourist location

Fondazione Dozza Città d'Arte
Piazzale della Rocca, 6/a – 40050 Dozza (BO)
Tel.: +39 0542 678240


Comune di Dozza
Via XX Settembre, 37 – 40050 Dozza (BO)

Tel.: +39 0542 678116 - 678351; Fax: +39 0542 678270 -


URP - Ufficio Relazioni con il Pubblico del Comune di Dozza
Piazza Libertà, 3 - Località Toscanella, 40060 Dozza (BO)
Tel.: +39 0542 672408; Fax: +39 0542 672293

Last update: 12-11-2021