Franco Riccardi came from a wealthy Italian family from Milano. They also owned the vineyard at San Colombano, where he died in 1968 and which was run by his son. They wealth of his family allowed him to pursue his fencing career without financial concerns. He started fencing at the age of 16, when he joined the Società del Giardino di Milano, where his extraordinary talent was discovered by [Giuseppe Mangiarotti] (22678). The highlight of his career was at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where Italy made a clean sweep, with Riccardi winning gold medals in individual and team épée. In 1931 and 1933 Riccardi was unofficial World Champion in team épée, while in 1930 and 1934 he was runner-up in team, and he was third in the 1929 individual event. At home, he was Italian amateur champion from 1927-29, and also finished third at the 1929 European Championships.