Born in Turin, Italy, in 1932, Anna Maria Rossi began cultivating an interest in classical studies at an early age. During the Second World War, when her family took refuge in the mountains to escape the heavy bombings of the city, she studied Latin and Italian under university professor Francesco Lo Bue. (His son, Erberto, later became a well-known expert in Tibetan art, language and culture, and, for a brief period, a teacher at Turin University to her son, Fabio.)
Following the war, she completed her studies in Turin at a liceo classic, and went on to attend the local university, where she earned a degree in classical studies, concentrating in Latin and Greek; she graduated cum laude.
For a number of years, Anna Maria then taught Latin, history and Italian at a nearby high school. Starting in 1971, she began travelling abroad during the long summer holidays that her job afforded: initially to the Middle East, and then to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal.
While in Afghanistan (ancient Bactria) in 1972, she encountered Gandharan art and immediately recognized the strong influence on it of Hellenistic art, which she had studied extensively at university. This revelation sparked her lifelong personal and professional interest in Asian art: initially, in the extraordinary works from Gandhara and India; later, in the remarkable objects from Nepal; and finally, in the sculptures, paintings and murals of Tibet, which she first visited in 1986, and where has travelled extensively since, fostering her discerning eye and expertise in the field.
In 1986, Anna Maria moved from Italy to London; and soon thereafter, in partnership with her son, Fabio, she opened Rossi & Rossi. Over the years, the gallery has hosted innumerable groundbreaking exhibitions, often accompanied by important scholarly catalogues.
In 2013, Anna Maria moved to Hong Kong, where Fabio had opened another branch of the gallery, which now has a distinguished reputation for handling only the finest works of Asian art.