She was born in Venice. Her father, named Giovanni Marinelli was a physician, so was her brother, Curzio Marinelli. Nothing is known however about her mother. The social position of the family enabled her to learn. She married Girolamo Vacca, who was also a physician.
Marinella wrote many works. She is widely known as the author of La nobiltà et l'eccellenza delle donne co' diffetti et mancamenti de gli uomini (The Nobility and Excellence of Women and the Defects and Vices of Men, 1600). Her greatest work is an epic poem L'Enrico ovvero Bisanzio acquistato. At that time the genre of epic poem was regarded as suitable for only men. Lucrezia Marinella proved that a woman can write a heroic poem. The poem is written in ottava rima which is considered to be a difficult form. It was translated into English by Maria Galli Stampino.