History of  Bolsena Ricama

History of Bolsena Ricama

The Organization Bolsena Ricama started its work in 1995 from an idea of the Founder President Prof. Maria Vittoria Ovidi, with the first edition of the “Pizzi a Palazzo” exhibition. On this occasion the collaboration of Prince Giovanni del Drago and the Marquis Maria Sveva and Maria Adelaide Capranica del Grillo brought a strong attention to the event and above all the success was absolutely winning. Visitors were thrilled to see ancient pieces of kit reappear that were thought to be part of a world that had fallen into oblivion. Pizzi a Palazzo continued until 2007 when the 100th anniversary of Orvieto Lace was celebrated.

Meanwhile, in 2003 the first edition of the International Embroidery and Lace Competition between art and tradition was started ….. a handkerchief for the bride, followed by a plate for the table, a page for the fan, a hydrangea for Bolsena, and other topics to follow.

In 2009 the first Bolsena Biennale edition began, to which the various international competitions have always been added. 

Since 2017, when the theme was “The butterfly in the history of art” the project, made by students of the Art School, has entered the competition. 

This year the theme of the International Competition has as its theme “The Shell in the History of Art”.

Meanwhile, the Association has changed: in 2012, on 12 January a new Bolsena Ricama Association was created which introduced new members to the Board of Directors and modified its structure by including the members of the Bolsena Ricama School.

Implemented Projects

Over the years there have been many cultural initiatives of the Association. 

In October 2004, in collaboration with the Embassy of Belgium, an exhibition was organized on the “Bride’s handkerchief” through history, at the Museo della Casina delle Civette in Villa Torlonia, Rome. 

In 2007 the organisation participated in Japan at the “Italian Spring in Tokyo” event, experience repeated also in 2008 and 2009.

In the following years it participated in events and demonstrations in Spain, Flanders, England and Ireland, highlighting the international character of its activities.

In 2013 following the presence of Bolsena school in Alençon which had already had the appointment in 2010 of Intangible Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO for Lace, an attempt was made to bring Italian lace to UNESCO Heritage. 

The path is still in progress: we hope that the resolution will arrive as soon as possible. 

At the same time the activity of the Association and the School has moved to Italy and abroad with excellent results. 

Local Operations

Since 1995 the activity of the association and of the school have acted increasingly expanding the regional, national and international spaces with participation in events of broad cultural reflection and above all the rediscovery of the Crafts of Art. 

Today, more than ever, the COLOGNI Mestieri d ‘Arte di Milano Foundation and the Observatory of the Art Crafts of Florence have recognized the highly respected national role of the former President, Prof. Maria Vittoria Ovidi. 

In 2016, the President always organized the first edition of the Lace Biennial in Venice, in collaboration with the FMCVENEZIA (Fondazione Musei Civici Veneziani). 


Our Association is a body responsible for the recognition of craftsmanship through activities of promotion, preservation and enhancement of the Art Crafts linked to the cultural tradition of our territory, specifically, lace and embroidery, strictly female applied arts that have left a deep mark through the times.

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