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Fringe Italia Off is an artistic and cultural project focused on regional marketing and off-season cultural tourism, organized by the associations “La Memoria del Teatro” and “Milano Off”. They connect the cities of Milan and Catania through two Fringe Festivals, MILANO OFF and CATANIA OFF (held between September and October), and develop initiatives from November to May with its annual theatrical season titled PALCO OFF.

In 2012, the theatrical season “PALCO OFF “Theatrical Voices – Auth-Actors of our Time,” was launched in Catania. Closely linked with the national and international “Off” theatre circuit, it showcased the best of independent productions, and acted as a hub for initiatives created by communities that share the Fringe culture throughout Italy.

In 2016, the founders decided to leverage their partnerships and various relationships with artistic directors from the World Fringe Community to organize the first Fringe in Milan. Milano Off Fringe Festival is now in its sixth edition.

In 2022, they established Catania Off Fringe Festival, facilitated by the city’s walkability in central areas. Catania Off Fringe Festival is now in its third edition.

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The mission of Fringe Italia Off is to create a network that connects independent artists, theaters and performance spaces, and audiences. It positively impacts the local social fabric on various levels, from students to the elderly, and in all city neighborhoods, with benefits for tourism and for the region as a whole.

Fringe Italia Off is part of the World Fringe Association, which includes over 250 festivals from around the world.


  • Make live performing arts transversally accessible to everyone;
  • Enhance the cultural projects offered within the region— especially in vulnerable areas near the outskirts of the city—through performing arts, meetings with actors and artists, and conferences with professionals, cultural associations, and industry experts;
  • Create new audiences, with a particular focus on young people, disadvantaged groups, and the elderly;
  • Develop a prominent exchange network between artists and industry professionals;
  • Continue to connect the cities of Milan and Catania to an international “Off” or fringe, artistic market and contribute to the development of cultural tourism;
  • Facilitate healthy and empathetic moments of community building;
  • Promote both tangible and intangible cultural heritage;
  • Strengthen the city suburbs’ overall territorial and cultural marketing, in connection with each historical center.

It’s a multidisciplinary cultural festival that features performances from a variety of genres in non-conventional spaces. The term “fringe” refers to performances produced outside institutional circuits, which allows artists the ability to perform independently. “Fringe” literally means “on the margins”, a term coined at the first version of the Edinburgh Festival (1947). Over the years, the Fringe Festival model has spread worldwide, particularly within Anglo-Saxon communities but also throughout many cities across the world. In Avignon, the OFF D’AVIGNON FESTIVAL was born in 1966 as an alternative to the more institutional “IN” Festival. Fringe/Off artists personally invest in their participation, supporting their work through ticket sales or fundraising undertaken in the period leading up to the festival.

A festival that pays artists directly is not a true Fringe festival.

Fringe Italia Off is part of the World Fringe Association, which brings together over 250 festivals from around the world.