Francesca Amfitheatrof was born in Tokyo, Japan. The daughter of an American journalist for Time Magazine and an Italian fashion publicist, Amfitheatrof attended boarding school in England but spent her childhood in New York, Moscow, Tokyo, and Rome. She has a sister, Stefania, who works in fashion and is a fiction and copy writer. Her studies started off with a foundation course at Chelsea College of Arts, followed by a bachelor’s degree at London’s Central St. Martins and an MA at the Royal College of Art in 1993. At the Royal College of Art, Amfitheatrof met and was inseparable to Giovanni Corvaja, the legendary alchemist jeweler, who taught and mentored her to create different alloys of gold.