Born in Florence, in 1929 he moved to Paris to study journalism; there he came into contact with the artistic avant-garde of the time, particularly with Eugène Deslaw. During this time he was assistant director of Georges Lacombe and directed the documentary Vérité sur l'Italie. In 1938 he came back in Italy country where he collaborated as a screenwriter and as an assistant director for Camillo Mastrocinque and Mario Soldati, among others. In 1940 he debuted as a feature film director with Inspector Vargas. In the post-war, Franciolini specialized in neo-realist comedies and genre films, often collaborating with Cesare Zavattini. In 1956 he won the David di Donatello Award for David di Donatello for Best Director">Best Director, for the comedy-drama film Roman Tales.