Giuliana Segre Giorgi was born to a Italian Jewish family in Turin. She was a cousin of Carlo Levi. She studied at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Turin, and was part of the intellectual anti-fascist circle centered on Barbara Allason and Anita Rho. She was arrested, along with many members of the resistance movement Giustizia e Libertà (Justice and Freedom) in 1934. After spending time in prison, she met and married the Italian-Brazilian sculptor Bruno Giorgi, and moved with him to France and then to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she lived until 1969. During her years in South America, she met befriended writers and poets, including Jorge Amado and Mário de Andrade, whose works she translated. Later in life, she returned to Turin, where she worked as a translator.