He studied stage design and architecture at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. First film experience he gained as an assistant to the architect Aldo Tomassini. The early 60 's, he became an assistant in the team of Luigi Scaccianoce, one of the most influential designers of the Italian cinema. Eight years later he began to work independently.
Dante Ferretti designed films for leading directors such as Jean -Jacques Annaud, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Martin Scorsese. Since the early 80s he worked with his wife Francesca Lo Schiavo: Ferretti becomes head of the art department, his wife takes care of the individual sets as set decorator during the shoot.
Dante Ferretti about his work: "I try to hineinzubegeben me with my thoughts and reflections in the period in question, to absorb it, to live the past in order to do it. Maybe like an actor do it ... If I try to live an era, it's very important for me, also many small errors " think with and install (note Shattered, uncontrolled extensions, ...). I'm trying to ... make sets that habitats are. "
In 2007 he designed for the umpteenth time, the exterior facade of the Palazzo del Cinema, the 64th International Film Festival of Venice.