Fulvio Ventura was born in Turin on January 13th, 1941. His father, Ennio Pontrelli, is a Coroner and his mother, Claudia Ventura, whose surname Fulvio will adopt as a photographer, works at a law firm.
Since his adolescence, the young Ventura is passionate about jazz music and during his college education years (classes only ran in the mornings then) he spends entire afternoons at the United States Information Service Library (USIS), reading the jazz and blues magazine Down Beat. It is here that he first comes across Edward Weston’s book My Camera on Point Lobos: this is his first encounter with photography. Professional practice, however, is still far away and Ventura initially takes up painting, regularly visiting Sergio Saroni’s, Piero Ruggeri’s and Aldo Mondino’s studios.
After gaining his Diploma, he enrols in the Faculty of Medicine with the intention of specializing in Psychiatry. However, after attending the course for two years, the condition of the asylums (those were the years prior the reforms introduced by professor Basaglia) drive him to abandon his studies.
He then moves to Milan where he eagerly studies Philosophy for the next four years without, however, getting a degree. During his fourth year he teams up with a magazine, called Protagonisti, as Iconographic Editor. In 1966, at the age of 25, he meets the great photographer Ugo Mulas, to whom he proposes to become his assistant: he really wants to learn Photography.
During his University time in Milan, and his time spent at the Casa della Cultura (House of Culture – an association founded by antifascist intellectuals), Ventura meets Anna De Lorenzi, also a student of Philosophy, and idyllic loving relationship is born. In 1967, during a trip with Anna to London, and the incontestable visit to the market in Camden Town, seeing her spend all her budget for gifts and souvenirs to buy a copy of the 1929 A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare, illustrated by Arthur Rackam, Fulvio decides that their elective affinities exceed his hopes, and asks her to marry him. The couple will marry in 1969 in Ghiffa, a small village overlooking Lake Maggiore, where they eventually settle at the beginning of the 1980s. Anna will remain Fulvio’s lifelong companion, as well his assistant for the majority of his photographic works.