Poppi Ranchetti was born in Milan and received his diploma in painting at the Scuola Superiore degli artefici di Brera. In 1964 he began studying scenography at the labs of the Teatro alla Scala, where he stayed until 1969.
From 1965 he collaborated with the Arena di Verona and Maestro Arturo Benassi from whom he took over in 1974 in the role of executive creator of scenography and later in the role of Director of the labs. In 1979 he left the Arena di Verona and founded a scenography lab, la Bottega Veneziana. In 1981 he was called upon to teach staging at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Venice.
Since 1991 he has been responsible for the stage designs of numerous operas staged in Italy and abroad, among which L'Italiana in Algeri and Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro Politeama in Lecce, Faust, Cenerentola, La Traviata and Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Verdi in Sassari, Rigoletto at the Teatro Rendano in Cosenza, Ernani and I Masnadieri at the Teatro municipale in Piacenza, Tosca in Sassari, Werther in Como, Gianni Schicchi in Montepulciano, La Clochette by Duni and Il Campanello dello speziale by Donizetti at the Teatro Regio in Parma.
In 1991 he was a guest of the Biennale Musica in Venice.
Operas which Poppi Ranchetti has staged abroad include: Mireille and Don Giovanni at the Opéra in Nice, Don Chisciotte, Macbeth, I Lombardi alla prima crociata and Don Carlos at the Opéra in Marseilles, Andrea Chénier, Gianni Schicchi, Don Carlos and Nabucco at the Festival in Santander, Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi at the Festival in Peralada, Otello at the Alexandria World Festival, Turandot, Tosca, Carmen and I Due Foscari at the Opéra in Maribor, Slovenia, Nuit d'un faune and Prometeo liberato at the Opera in Frankfurt, Hänsel und Gretel at the Opera in Bonn and La favorite at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville.