She studied at the Istituto Musicale Pietro Mascagni in Livorno, and subsequently took part in master classes at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, with Carlo Bergonzi and Shirley Verrett. She made her debut in Gino Negri’s Giovanni Sebastiano at the Teatro Comunale, Florence, and her La Scala debut in 1997 with La traviata, conducted by Riccardo Muti, and she returned to La Scala in L'elisir d'amore in 1997 and 2001. She has sung in most of the major Italian opera houses as well as the Rossini Festival in Pesaro and at the Martina Franca Festival.
She has also sung in Paris, at the Châtelet, the Opéra de Paris and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, in Lyon and Marseille. She made her Covent Garden debut in 2002 with Rigoletto, her Chicago debut in 2003 with La Traviata and Wiener Staatsoper debut in 2008 with La Sonnambula.
Her major roles on stage include Amina in Vincenzo Bellini's La sonnambula, Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata, Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and Lucia in Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (in both the standard Italian version and the French version Lucie de Lammermoor of 1839).
Ciofi has also made a number of recordings, perhaps most notable of which was the Le nozze di Figaro conducted by René Jacobs, which won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Another example is the recording of Giacomo Meyerbeer's Opera Il crociato in Egitto together with the Male Soprano Michael Maniaci at La Fenice in Venice.
- La sonnambula by Vincenzo Bellini (1995) Nuova Era
- Lucie de Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti (1998) Dynamic
- Il Rè & Mese Mariano by Umberto Giordano (1999) Dynamic
- Ippolito ed Aricia by Tommaso Traetta (2000) Dynamic
- Die Entführung aus dem Serail by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (2003) TDK DVD
- Benvenuto Cellini by Hector Berlioz (2004) Virgin Classics
- Amor e gelosia (with Joyce DiDonato) compilation of operatic duets by George Frederic Handel (2004) CD Veritas
- Lucie de Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti (2002) TDK DVD
- Le nozze di Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (2004) Harmonia Mundi
- Bajazet by Antonio Vivaldi (2005) Virgin Classics
- Radamisto by Handel (2005) Virgin Classics
- Pia de' Tolomei by Gaetano Donizetti (2005) - Video Live recording on DVD - Dynamic
- Chérubin by Jules Massenet (2006) - Video Live recording on DVD - Dynamic
- Il crociato in Egitto by Giacomo Meyerbeer (2007) - Video Live recording on DVD - Dynamic
- Giuseppe Verdi
- Giacomo Puccini
- Gianni Schicchi (Lauretta)
- Vincenzo Bellini
- Gaetano Donizetti
- Gioachino Rossini
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Georges Bizet
- Les pêcheurs de perles (Leila)
- Antonio Vivaldi
- Bajazet (Idaspe)
- Georg Friedrich Händel
- Jules Massenet
- Umberto Giordano
- Giacomo Meyerbeer
- Tommaso Traetta
- Ippolito ed Aricia (Aricia)
- Richard Alleyne, "Gruelling opera role taken from newcomer at the last minute", Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2012, accessed 5 December 2012.
- Patrizia Ciofi Information: Complete discography, performance history and reviews
- Virgin Classics
- Patrizia Ciofi at the Internet Movie Database
- IMdb - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1357551/