Born and raised in Piancastagnaio, in the province of Siena, after graduating in architecture, he taught technical education at various high schools in the province of Florence, later settling in Scandicci. Subsequently he dedicated himself to the world of comics making his debut with Bobo, the character who made him famous, who for many resembles Umberto Eco and instead is openly inspired by himself. Bobo was published for the first time in 1979 in the Linus magazine directed by Oreste del Buono. In the eighties he collaborated with the newspapers Il Messaggero and l'Unità, with which he has worked since 1982; in 1986 he founded and directed the satirical weekly Tango and in 1987 created the progry Teletango for Rai 3. Subsequently, again for Rai, he created the program Cielito lindo, a satirical variety hosted by Claudio Bisio and Athina Cenci. In 1989 he directed and wrote the film Cavalli si nasce and in 1992 Don't call me Omar, developed from a story by Altan. In 2007 he created Emme, a "laughing periodical of philosophy and crying politics", a weekly supplement of l'Unità, continuing his collaborations also with television, cinema and theatre. On 8 September 2016, his appointment as director of l'Unità was announced, starting from 15 September, alongside Andrea Romano. He will keep this position until 6 April 2017 when, following the strike of journalists on 1 April against the 60% staff downsizing plan wanted by the company that owns the newspaper, he decides to resign irrevocably, although rejected by the administrator the delegate of the Unità srl company Guido Stefanelli, motivating his decision with the by now acclaimed distrust of his colleagues in him for his management of the matter. In November 2017, the collaboration between Staino and the newspaper La Stampa was announced: starting from 4 November, the cartoonist will publish "The Bobo strip" every Saturday in the Letters and Comments section of the newspaper, which in this way returns to having satirical cartoons a distance of 12 years, after the separation with Giorgio Forattini. In the edition of the Piedmontese newspaper of 6 December 2017, a satirical cartoon appears on the front page, under the name of "Visto da Staino". From 1 January to 22 October 2018, he collaborates with the newspaper Avvenire by publishing a series of cartoons entitled "Hello Jesus" Also in 2018 he began collaborating with the Tiscali News website.