Piccoli was born in Austria, where his family had been deported during World War I. He was elected for the first time at the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1958. He was elected national secretary of the Christian Democracy party in January 1969, and was later Minister of the State Participations for three governments.
From 1946 to 1977 he has been the editor in chief of the local newspaper l'Adige. He died in Rome in 2000.