Born of Luigi and Maddalena Gilini, he studied by Don Alessandro Gallinaís school and in 1843 entered the Episcopal seminary. He studied besides Latin and Greek, also Hebraic , English, French and German. His superiors noted his inclination for music and so left him to the teacher Amilcare Ponchielli and to the organist Vincenzo Petrali. In 1855 bishop Antonio Novasconi, after the subdeaconal nomination, invited him to Rome at the Gregorian University, where he took the theology degree in July 1857. When he came back to Cremona, he was ordained priest and had the task of teaching in the gymnasium of the seminary where in 1860/61 he took the chair of Dogmatic Theology and later he became rector.
In 1872 Pope Pius IX appointed him Borgo San Donnino and was consecrated in January 1873 in Cremona by his ex-fellows at the Gregorian University, Bonomelli, bishop of Cremona, Perocchi, bishop of Pavia and Verzieri, bishop of Brescia. He came and lived immediately in Borgo San Donnino, but some bureaucratic delays caused by the difficult relationships between Church and State , didnít allow him to enter the bishop building before 1877. Since June 1873 anyway, he had started his pastoral visit that had to stop for the preventive measures against the cholera epidemic in parmesan county, and took it again in next October.
In the same year he founded the first two young boy oratories of Borgo: the male one by the church of Pilastro, and the female one by San Giorgio, and wanted also the creation of these oratories by all the parishes of the diocese, enacting their regulations on 16 July. In every parish he founded the brotherhood of Christian Doctrine to increase the catechistic teaching and took a great care of seminary where he had the government programs adopted. In 1878 he embarked the organisation of diocesan synod, but a desease and a long rest prevented him from carrying it on. Moreover he was transferred to the See of Bergamo in 1879.