Why You Should Visit this Quirky Painted Egg Museum in Umbria

Sat, 04/08/2023 - 08:07
Painted eggs at the Ovo Pinto Museum
Photo courtesy of Museo Ovo Pinto

Easter eggs aren’t just child’s play in Civitella del Lago, a tiny Umbrian town just above Lake Corbara.

The town’s local Ovo Pinto Cultural Association — yes, that’s an organization dedicated to the art of Easter egg-painting — kicks off its annual Mostra Concorso Ovo Pinto competition and exhibition today, April 8, or Holy Saturday (“Easter eve”) on the Christian liturgical calendar.

Running since 1982, the competition-exhibition showcases intricately decorated Easter eggs and welcomes participation from both professional and non-professional artists worldwide.

The theme for the 2023 competition is “RinnOVO” — a play on words, as rinnovo is Italian for renewal and ovo one spelling of “egg.”

Inspired by the egg as a symbol of emerging life, the theme aims to address today’s “throwaway culture” and encourage more sustainable and renewable practices. (Enel Green Power, the renewables division of Enel Group, an Italian multinational energy distributor, is the main sponsor.)

Eggs-actly how it works

Would-be egg artists will have to wait until next year to compete, as submissions closed earlier this week. Despite Civitella del Lago’s modest size and the ultra-niche art form, President of the Ovo Pinto Association Alessandro Dominici said this year’s entries surpassed pre-Covid numbers, totaling more than 100 from all over Italy, along with a few surprise submissions from the Middle East and Africa.

Beginning on Easter Sunday, April 9, all eggs will be displayed in the local Ovo Pinto museum in Piazza Mazzini. 

During this period, the public can visit the exhibition and vote on their favorite entry. Along with this “audience choice” award, a special recognition for “Imagination” will be given by German entrepreneur (and past participant) Uwe Heller, a longtime friend of the competition. The most “imaginative” artist will receive a hand-made piece by Heller along with €400 in cash.

The 35-year-strong exhibition isn’t just an eclectic way to observe the Easter season, but also includes side events that explore the history and local character of Civitella del Lago. This year, displayed alongside the eggs will be previously unpublished color photographs from the 1960s that illustrate the changes to the Tiber River basin over the past century that shaped the Civitella del Lago community into what it is today.

If you go

Il Museo Ovo Pinto
Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini 9, Civitella del Lago
Open: Entries of this year’s contest can be visited on weekends from 10.30am-12.30pm and 4.30-7.30pm. Weekday visits are by appointment only.
Tel. +39 340 8995074