The complex dates back to the 14th century, and the Rocca underwent numerous architectural modifications over the centuries. In the second half of the 15th century, Caterina Sforza rebuilt on the remains of former Bolognese fortresses dating back to 1250, transforming it into a veritable Renaissance era fortress.
Once the power of the Church of Rome was restored over these territories with the arrival of Cesare Borgia in Imola in 1499, the fortress and the fiefdom of Dozza were ceded to Cardinal Nunzio Campeggi. The family ordered work for significant restoration in order to transform the Rocca from fortress to diplomatic headquarters.
In 1728, when Lorenzo Campeggi, the last male heir of the line died, the Marquisate of Dozza was passed through inheritance to Francesca Maria Campeggi, the wife of Matteo Malvezzi, whodecided to cede the feudal rights to the Malvezzi family. Her son Emilio was the first Marquis to unify the two noble names Malvezzi-Campeggi.
When Napoleon arrived in in Italy and installed the Napoleonic laws, the fortress was saved from confiscation because Marquis Giacomo Malvezzi-Campeggi managed to prove that the castle was private property. The fiefdom of Dozza was abolished, but the fortress remained property of the family who continued living there until 1960.
The complex has been open to the public since then and serves as a museum.
Photos by Wikicommons e Simona Bucolieri, licensed by CC BY-SA