Fifth of ten children born to a pious family. Joined the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul at the San Salvario house in Turin, Italy on 24 September 1883. In 1885 she was assigned to the island of Sardegna; she spent most of her life ministering to the poor there.
In June of 1899 she became the director of the Sassari orphanage, and spent her free time teaching catechism to the poor, the illiterate, and the daughters of rich people whose children went to fine schools with no religious education. She encouraged Eucharistic Adoration, supported the Associazione dei Figli di Maria (Association of the Sons of Mary), and was director of the Associazione delle Figlie di Maria (Association of the Daughters of Mary).
From 1910 to August 1914 she was recalled to Turin to serve as provincial administrator and then as director of the seminary, but her superiors finally understood the level of work she had done in Sardegna, and returned her there. Though the civil government had become decidedly anti-clerical, she continued her good work, and even opened a School of Religion for young people. Worked with sick infants and children at the Marina Colony of the Poetto for several years, and turned part of the building into a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War I.
During the whole of her time on the island she worked whenever possible with the Monelli di Maria (Urchins of Mary), children who were orphaned, homeless, abandoned, or thrown out of the house by their families. She got them to Mass, taught them catechism, to read and to write, and made sure they learned a trade so they could leave life on the streets. All this was done with the secret admiration of, but the open scorn of, most authorities who did not think such children could be reformed or saved.
- 9am on 31 December 1924 in Cagliari, Italy of bronchial pneumonia
- her birth family wanted to bury her next to her parents in Casatisma, Italy, but the people of Cagliari begged that she not leave them, and the family agreed
- in October 1932 her body was moved to the chapel at the Asilo della Marina, Cagliari
- 3 February 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI
- recognition celebrated at the Square of the Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria, Cagliari, Italy, presided by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins
- “Blessed Giuseppina Nicoli“. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 October 2015. Web. 31 May 2016. <>