Ferrare was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Renata and Tavio Ferrare, a butcher. Her family was of Northern Italian descent. She was 14 years old when her family moved to Los Angeles, California, where her beauty landed her a contract with a major modeling agency and then with 20th Century Fox film studios.
Ferrare had a brief speaking part in a Batman TV episode featuring Chad and Jeremy and was credited as Cindy Ferrare. Later, she starred with David Niven in the 1968 movie The Impossible Years and appeared opposite Cliff Robertson in J. W. Coop (1971). She was a top model and was featured as cover girl many times on a variety of fashion magazines.
Ferrare was the spokesperson for Max Factor between the ages of 16 and 26 and a host/presenter on various television programs during the 1970s and 1980s including AM Los Angeles, Incredible Sunday and Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. She has also written a number of books including Cristina Ferrare’s Family Entertaining, "Cristina Ferrare Style: How To Have It In Every Part of Your Life", Okay, So I Don't Have a Headache and Realistically Ever After.
She was co-host of the popular local show AM Los Angeles for four years alongside television host Steve Edwards.
Ferrare co-hosted the ABC television series The Home Show with Robb Weller for a short time in 1989, and co-hosted The Home and Family Show with Chuck Woolery and later with Michael Burger, a unique two-hour show that was broadcast on the Family Channel from June 3, 1996 to August 14, 1998.
As of November 19, 2012, Ferrare joined the revamped Home and Family Show on its new network The Hallmark Channel as Mark Steines's co-host, replacing Paige Davis.
Ferrare has worked as a jewelry, home accessories and furniture designer on behalf of the Creative Brands Group. She owns a brand called Ferrare With Company.
Ferrare has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show in cooking segments. Winfrey is a fan of Ferrare's cooking and cookbook and frequently features her in her magazine "O" and website.
Ferrare premiered in her new show Big Bowl Of Love on Oprah Winfrey's network (OWN) on January 3, 2011 with Iron Chef Cat Cora as the show’s first guest. Big Bowl of Love follows Ferrare cooking recipes alongside her friends, family, and other guests.
According to Cristina, in her book Realistically Ever After, she married a man and annulled it six weeks later. In 1973, she married automobile executive John DeLorean. He had earlier adopted a son Zachary while single, and she also adopted him. Later they had a daughter, Kathryn. She and DeLorean divorced in 1985.
Soon after, she married entertainment industry executive Anthony Thomopoulos and had two daughters, Alexandra (born 1986) and Arianna (born 1989).
Her niece (her sister's daughter) is actress Danielle Bisutti.