Marino Capicchioni was born in the tiny village of Santa Mustiola in the mountainous Republic of San Marino - a microstate located around 30km southwest of Rimini - and there spent his childhood and much of his youth. He was the second of seven children of Bernardo Capicchioni, who worked as a carpenter in San Marino, and Virginia Cecchetti.
Marino began his working life at an early age in his father's workshop. Having been exposed to music (he played the saxophone in the village military band), he soon started to repair guitars, mandolins and violins. It is said that he began making violins as an amateur during the First World War, when he was about 24. However, we are also aware of a violin of his dated 1924 and numbered 12, making it quite likely that he started making violins during the very early 1920s. By 1923 Capicchioni was skilled enough to win a silver medal and a diploma of merit for his violins at a local trade fair. In that year he officially declared himself as a maker of violins. The following year he married Antonia Stacchini, and their first child, the future violin maker Mario, was born in 1926. His second son Luciano, born in 1933, would one day become a professional violinist.