His years of schooling in Italy, enlistment, and diploma as building surveyor, in Milan.
On 19th February 1899 Lucio Fontana was born in Rosario in Santa Fe province, in Argentina, his parents being of Italian origin. His father Luigi, a sculptor, had been living in Argentina for a decade or so, and his mother, Lucia Bottino, was a theatre actress. From a school age, Lucio was sent to live in Italy for his education, and was entrusted to his uncle who lived in Castiglione Olona, in the province of Varese in northern Italy. From 1906 to 1911 he attended the Torquato Tasso school at Biumo Inferiore (near Varese) and, after completing his elementary education, he went on to study at the Collegio Arcivescovile Ballerini, in Seregno. He then began his artistic apprenticeship, starting practising in his father's sculpture studio (his father having returned to Italy by this time) and at the same time studying at the master-builders school at the "Carlo Cattaneo" Institute in Milan.
In 1916, when Italy became embroiled in the First World War, Fontana interrupted his studies and enrolled as a voluntary soldier, reaching the rank of second lieutenant in the infantry regiment.
In 1918 he returned to Milan, having been injured on the Karst Plateau and discharged with a silver campaign medal. He went back to his studies, and was awarded a diploma as a building surveyor.