Francesca was of a noble Armenian descent and her family had migrated from Russian to Italy under religious prosecution of Christians by the Turks. She was born in providence of Piedmont in Italy. By the time she was age twenty, she moved to the Island of Caprera to became the nurse maid for the children of Stephen and Teresita Canzio. The children's grandfather was Freedom Fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi. Garibaldi, who had also lived in Piedmont, had travel to Russia as a young sea captain. Although he was nearly 40 years older than she, Garibaldi and Francesca became lovers. After a 20-year delay, his annulment was granted from his second wife, the Countess Marchesina Raimondi and Garibald married Francesca on January 25, 1880. They had previously had three children together. She was his primary caregiver for the remaining two years of his life.