He was born in Florence on August 5, 1940. He graduated in Italian literature at his hometown University, for several years he has been a high school professor, then, he taught in several universities, such as those of Middlebury and Barcelona.
He became Professor, from 1985 to 1989 in Medieval History at the University of Bari and, since 1989, has been assigned to teach History of teaching at the University of Florence. In 1994, he won the Prize “Tiber” for History. He is currently professor of Medieval History at the University of Florence and, since 1997, has been a Member of the Consultative Committee of “Mystfest Cattolica” (FOR) and the Board of Directors of the “Ente Cinema SpA”. Franco Cardini wrote numerous grants for the third pages of newspapers “Il Giornale” and “Avvenire”.
His works have been collected in the volume Il Franco Tiratore. Bibliografia degli scritti di Franco Cardini 1957-2011 1957-2011. Edited by A. Musarra, Afterword by Franco Cardini, Editorial Series: Il Divano Occidentale-Orientale, pp. 440.
As Professor Cardini has written an extraordinary number of essays we only mention his articles on Tarot:
La Fortuna, il Gioco, la Corte (Fortune, Game, and Court) in “Le Carte di Corte. I Tarocchi. Gioco e Magia alla Corte degli Estensi” (The Cards of Court. The Tarot. Game and Magic at the Este Court). Catalogue of the international exhibition on Tarot held in Ferrara at the Este Castle, Nuova Alfa Editions, 1987.
I Tarocchi fra “Cultura di Corte” e “Cultura Popolare” (Tarot between ”Court Culture” and “Popular Culture”) in “Tarocchi: Gioco e Magia” (Tarot: Game and Magic), essay-catalogue of the exhibition on tarot realized at the Civic Archaeological Museum in Bologna, Le Tarot Editions, 1994.
He wrote the Introduction in Il Tarocchino di Bologna. Storia, Iconografia, Divinazione dal XV al XX secolo (The Tarocchino of Bologna. History, Iconography, Divination from the fifteenth to the twentieth century) by Andrea Vitali and Terry Zanetti, Martina Editions, 2005.
Preface to I Tarocchi: Storia, Arte, Magia. Dal XV al XX secolo (Tarots: History, Art, Magic. From the fifteenth to the twentieth century) by Andrea Vitali and Terry Zanetti, essay-catalogue of the exhibition presented at the Inquisitor’s Palace in Vittoriosa - Malta, Le Tarot Editions, 2006.
Presentation to La Via del Sacro. I Simboli dei Tarocchi fra Oriente ed Occidente (The Sacred Way. The Symbols of Tarot between East and West) by Gerardo Lonardoni, Martina Editions, 2008.
I Tarocchi: strumenti di gioco e strumenti divinatori fra "cultura di corte" e "cultura popolare", in Il Ludus Triumphorum o Tarot: carte da gioco o alfabeto del destino (Tarot: play instruments and divining tools between "court culture" and "popular culture", in “The Ludus Triumphorum or Tarot: playing cards or alphabet of fate”, proceedings of the Conference held in Genoa in September 2010, Nova Scripta Editions, 2011.