Neri was born in Naples, Italy in 1977. As a teenager he was very involved in sports and he practised equestrianism professionally. During summer he usually spent holidays in Capri, an island near Naples. It was there where Neri met the photographer Bruce Weber, who took some pictures of Massimiliano while shooting with models Helena Christensen, and Alex Lundqvist for 1995 Versace's Campaign. Neri was only 17 years old. One month later, Jack Pierson came to Naples, who also wanted to take some pictures of him.
After sending those pictures to some model agencies in Milan, and eventually moving to Milan in 1995, he became known among the fashion designers after his first fashion season in Milan: working for many designers such as Gianfranco Ferré, Iceberg, Krizia, Versus, D&G, Replay, etc. However, celebrity to a larger public arrived after making a TV commercial for Versace's sunglasses, which was shown all over Europe. In New Zealand he was given a place in TV commercial for Levi's. Neri has also graced covers and editorials for magazines such as Cleo, L’Uomo Vogue, GQ, Pulp fashion etc.. Furthermore, he was chosen as testimonial for the Rocco Barocco worldwide campaign of 2000 with models Natalia Vodianova, and Alessandra Ambrosio.
1995 onwards, he worked as a model in Milan, Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo, Miami, New York, and landed in Paris in 1998, where he settled down and started University. He graduated in Business Administration in Paris and took a master degree in Financial Economics from the University of Leicester.
Neri has now turned from fashion model to businessman, as owner of restaurants and businesses in Italy.