Festival Dell'Oriente 2023: Cultures of the World*

Festival Dell'Oriente 2023: Cultures of the World*

It's that time of the year again, the time to get mesmerised by everything that Asian culture has to offer. And boy, if it was a whole lot!

With a free press access as part of the Roma Incontra Il Mondo event—which I'll talk about in a bit—I was once again in Rome to attend Festival Dell'Oriente, which took place from April 22nd to 25th (and also April 29th to May 1st). Last year I had a lovely time, even though I missed some live shows and activities, so this time I was determined to make the most of it. 

The Asian pavilions all had the areas I encountered last year: Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Tibet and more. China had the second biggest area after Japan, but I was sad to see that Korea still had a relatively small stand primarily centred on K-Pop. There was only a tiny corner about Korean culture, so I hope to see that change next time.

Since Life is a Box of Mochi is majorly focused on Japanese culture, I spent the majority of the day in the Japan area, which had many returning exhibitions—such as the one about Miyamoto Musashi, or the Samurai armor display—but also new ones, such as the display of Japanese school uniforms. 

The Samurai Armor display at Festival Dell'Oriente

With regards to live shows and activities—although I've once again missed the Taiko drums show and the Japanese/Korean dances—I'm absolutely thrilled to not have missed the Mochitsuki ceremony I wasn't able to see last year. I mean, my blog is literally called Life is a Box of Mochi, I wasn't going to miss it again! I took pictures and videos (make sure you follow my Instagram and Tiktok for those!), and it was a very entertaining experience. 

I also stumbled across the Sumi-e Painting stand right away, and I was happy to see them with a way bigger stand than they had last year. If you remember, I took the Sumi-e painting workshop last year and it was very fun! 

I didn't want to do a painting activity again this time, so I opted for the Teru Teru Bozu workshop organised by the lovely and talented Kyoko Miyagoshi. Not only I came home with something crafted all by myself, but I also learned the origins of this little ghost-like figure (although it's not a ghost!). 

Festival Dell'Oriente never shies away from fun activites!

You can't go to events like this and not end up buying anything, the only difference from last year is that I didn't purchase any snacks, instead I focused on items I could keep as memories from this great day. The stands are always many—and some sell the same things at different prices—and I won't lie when I say that I bypassed several of them multiple times because I had trouble deciding what to get. One thing for sure, I couldn't help buying something from the main China bazaar stand again. Everything is just so beautiful and pastel-coloured. The gradient pink-green fan with the sakura flowers and the peach-coloured maiden are so pretty, aren't they?

The Japan area had so many stands, but I opted for three. I got myself a Kokeshi doll and the Winter-y Ukiyo-e wooden print (my favourite among everything I bought) at one; the little green Maneki Neko at another (with both paws up, I hope it brings a lot of luck! 🀞); and the two postcards at the Suiboku-Ga painting workshop stand. The illustrations were just so inspiring. As for the origami Gru, I got it at the Teru Teru Bozu stand, as Kiyoko also offers origami workshops, and the ones she was selling were so pretty! Hopefully it will bring longevity and good health. 

This time my purchases at Festival Dell'Oriente were culture-focused

Like I mentioned at the beginning, another important part of Festival Dell'Oriente was Roma Incontra il Mondo, an event mostly focused on European culture. However, this multicultural event had also areas focused on America and Latin America, as well as areas for the Motor Show, and the Holi Festival—a typical Indian event—and several others. 

All these areas have their appeal, I won't deny that it's impossible not to get involved in the excitement, the rhythm, and the joy they bring. However, I feel that this particular event deserves a space of its own, as in my opinion some of the areas could've been expanded/reduced a bit more. For example, The Irish Festival had its own pavilion which—in my opinion—was too much. Compared to the Country Festival, there were a lot of empty spaces and it appeared quite bare, which was sad because Ireland has so much heritage. 

The other European areas were mostly focused on food, with stages for live performances. I had the chance to catch one of the Flamenco performances and it was rather enjoyable! The representation of the Celtic stone circle was beautiful, I almost went to touch them hoping that I would be transported to 1743 Scotland... πŸ˜‰

Roma Incontra il Mondo is perfect if you like to learn about European cultures

Overall, it was a very entertaining experience despite the flaws. This event is perfect for you if you like to learn about new cultures and enjoy what they have to offer. Mind you, though, one day is absolutely not enough to properly enjoy everything there is to see and do (and eat!), so make sure you can attend all days, if you can!

If you happen to be in Italy during the next months, you can attend Festival Dell'Oriente on any of the dates below! 

  • May 20th - 21st / May 27th - 28th: Milano Malpensa Fiere
  • September 9th - 10th / September 16th - 17th: Napoli Mostra D'Oltremare
  • September 23rd - 24th / September 30th - October 1st: Perugia Umbriafiere
  • October 21st - 22nd / October 28th - 29th: Carrara Fiere
  • November 4th - 5th / November 11th - 12th: Fiera di Parma
  • December 2nd - 3rd / December 8th - 10th: Fiera di Padova

Do you have Asian festivals where you live? Tell me all about them in the comments! 



  1. I have been waiting for your post on this festival, Fran, and you never disappoint with your writing and photos πŸ’š

    I had a great time too, and you did a fantastic job with the Teru Teru Bozu πŸ˜ƒ I think it was even better than last year's . . maybe it's just me, but even the stands looked more, and it was definitely all very colourful, the way I like it!

    I love your purchases and I'm happy with mine too, and I can't wait to go back next year, we'll have so much fun and try to do more activities and even see more shows!!

    P.S. Thanks for the delicious lunch, I just love κΉ€λ°₯ 🫰🏻

    1. Awww, thank you!! *blushes* The Teru Teru Bozu workshop was really fun, and I agree with you, the activities were so much better this time!

      My pleasure! Next year we'll try Chinese!

  2. What an amazing event! I can see where several days would be ideal to see everything.

    I love the fan :)

    1. Thank you, Greg! There were other—all beautiful—fans, but this with the pink/green gradient won my heart!