Festival Dell'Oriente: A Bouquet of Cultures

Festival Dell'Oriente: A Bouquet of Cultures

I've been interested in Asian cultures since I started studying Japanese so, when I had the opportunity to attend Festival Dell'Oriente in Rome at the end of April, I jumped without second thought. This was my first event since the pandemic started, so I was very excited to finally be able to do something fun.  

There's quite a bit to cover, so let's not dwell and let me tell you all about my experience at the festival! 


Festival Dell'Oriente was not just about Japan. There are so many different cultures in Asia, so I went with an open mind and ready to embrace whatever came my way. 

As soon as we approached the entrance, we were greeted by a lady who gave us each a Bindi on our forehead. With our maps in hand, we made our way to the first of three areas. 

Thailand, Philippines, and Laos were among the countries in this pavilion. The moment I stepped into this zone, I was greeted with an explosion of music, stands, smells, and people, so my very first impression was that I felt slightly overwhelmed. However, I took my time in taking it all in and off I went to explore! Our next area was about Tibet, Vietnam, and Indonesia. It was really nice to see all these different cultures come together. Besides live demonstrations, there were exhibitions and reproductions of real places, such as the Tibetan Stupa, or the Mongolian Yurt.

It was really nice to see all these different cultures come together.

We kept our favourite area for last, so we could take even more time to explore Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cultures. It was really amazing, there were so many things to see that I didn’t know where to begin with!


Each pavilion was quite big so, even though there were a lot of stalls, everything felt a bit dispersed. It was really lovely to browse through all the booths selling different products. Some things were quite unique, and I would have loved to buy them—I think I’ll get cat statues when I’m finally able to live alone again—but, even though I didn’t have much money to spend, I ended up buying a couple of things I am very happy with! (*hint: keep an eye on my Instagram for that!)

It was really lovely to browse through all the booths selling different products.


Surprisingly—and I say this with all the positiveness in the world because I am a bit picky with food—the food stalls were one of the things I was looking forward to the most. With the aforementioned open mind, and with the introduction of the new street food area, I was adamant that I was going to try all sorts of foods. Although money—and the long queues—prevented me from fully fulfilling my wish, I did try new foods. I had Poke for the first time (OMG it was delicious!!), and I also tried edible dried Ibiscus flower—which I didn’t even know it was a thing. Spoiler alert, it was exquisite!
I also ended up buying some snacks I’ve been wanting to try for quite some time, so I was really happy. Look at that special edition of Pocky in honor of Year of the Tiger, don't you find them super cute?

The food stalls were one of the things I was looking forward to the most.


Besides market-like and food stalls, this festival had a lot of activities and live shows. The wellness area had plenty of people getting different types of massages, there were live dance shows at all times of day, and even cool workshops such as creating your own Kodedama. Oh, and you could try traditional clothes as well!

I ended up trying Sumi-e painting, and it was really fun! If you want to see what that’s like, you can check out the reel I posted on my Instagram!

This festival had a lot of activities and live shows.


I want to stress that I’m very glad I attended the Festival Dell’Oriente, I had a lot of fun and I would do this again in a heartbeat. However, I personally feel it lacked some organization, and let me explain why. Like I mentioned above, although each pavilion was massive and packed with stalls, activities, and shows, everything felt a bit dispersive and not well advertised. Despite the fact that we visited each area multiple times, there were some stands that we missed because they were not advertised clearly. We also missed out on quite a few activities for the same reason. The same goes with the live shows. They were only advertised next to the stages where they took place, which was quite the inconvenience because you had to walk through the entire pavilion to get to where the stage was located. And even then, the shows were not advertised clearly, which resulted in us missing the shows we really wanted to see (or catching the end of them). Overall, the Festival Dell’Oriente is definitely worth visiting, I just hope their organization will be a little better next time.

Have you attended a festival about Asian culture? Tell me all about it in the comments!