Born April 21, 1948 in Rome, Dario started to sketch as a very young child. At the age of six, his talent for art was encouraged with the gift of a small set of watercolors from an uncle, himself a painter. When he was 14, Dario was bedridden with a kidney ailment for three months, and his father gave him his first oil paints to cheer him up. As soon as he began to work with them, there was a sense of familiarity of being able to easily express himself in this medium. This experience influenced him profoundly to continue with his art.
After graduating with honors from an industrial design course, Dario spent time concentrating on painting in the classical style, mostly still lifes. In 1967 he entered his first art competition in Norma, Italy. Dario was the youngest participant to receive awards, and was praised by the judges for his excellent work.
At the age of eighteen, Dario had the good fortune to meet Giorgio de Chirico, the Italian master of metaphysical art. Dario showed him some paintings and asked if he should attend art school. De Chirico counseled the young painter to simply experiment and continue discovering his own techniques. Inspired by this encounter, Dario found that his own hard work and discipline proved to be his best teachers. He continued to work full time on his art, and by the time he was twenty, he was successfully exhibiting his paintings in the Galleria Esedera in Rome, and attracting the attention of international collectors.