Born in Pralboino (now in the Province of Brescia), in Lombardy, Italy, Gambara came from a distinguished family, one of the seven children of Count Gianfrancesco da Gambara and Alda Pio da Carpi. Her family contained a number of distinguished female intellectuals, including her great-aunts, the humanist poets Ginevre and Isotta Nogarola.:164 Veronica was also a niece of Emilia Pia, the principal female interlocutor of Baldessare Castiglione's Il Cortegiano.:160–61
Gambara received a humanist education, studying Latin, Greek, philosophy, theology and scripture.:160:170 In 1502, at the age of 17, she began corresponding with the leading neo-Petrarchan, Pietro Bembo, who became her poetic mentor two years later when she began sending him her compositions.:161:170
In 1509, at the age of 24, she married her cousin, the 50-year-old widower Giberto X, Count of Correggio, in Amalfi. They had two sons, Ippolito was born in 1510 and Girolamo in 1511. After Giberto's death in 1518, she took charge of the state (including management of Correggio's condottieri), as well as the education of her two sons and step-daughter Costanza.:23:171
Under Gambara's rule, the small court of Correggio became something of a salon, visited by such important figures as Pietro Bembo, Gian Giorgio Trissino, Marcantonio Flaminio, Ludovico Ariosto, and Titian.:170:25 Previously aligned with French king, Francis I, Gambara allied Correggio with Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. She personally received Charles V at her estate in 1530, when he signed a treaty guaranteeing Correggio would not again be besieged, and a second time in 1533. The treaty was broken, however, in 1538 when Galeotto Pico II, Count of Mirandola and Concordia, launched an attack on Correggio.:24 Gambara organized a successful defense of the city, and between 1546 and 1550, saw that Charles V paid for improved fortifications.:24
She died on June 13, 1550, in Correggio, Italy.