Born in Milan, Italy in 1944, he originally studied to become an architect before pursuing a career in photography. His initial works focused around traditional landscape photography, but he later shifted his focus to architectural photography due to the influence of his previous studies in architecture. He achieved international fame in 1982 with his photographic report on the industrial areas of Milan, "Ritratti di Fabbriche, Sugarco".
His last public work was showcased in December 2012, at the inauguration of a new square, Gae Aulenti, in Milan. The work consisted of a series of photographs that portrayed the Porta Nuova Project from its inception through completion.
- Mario Calabresi (14 February 2013). "Gabriele Basilico, la poesia del misuratore di spazi". La Stampa. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Redazione Milano (13 February 2013). "È morto il fotografo Gabriele Basilico". Il Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Piero Negri (13 February 2013). "È morto Gabriele Basilico il fotografo delle città". La Stampa. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Hopkinson, Amanda (25 February 2013). "Gabriele Basilico obituary". The Guardian.