Bertarelli was born in Rome in 1968. She is the daughter of Fabio Bertarelli. She and her brother Ernesto inherited Serono, a biotechnology company. Serono was founded in 1906 in Rome and was the building block of the family’s wealth. The family now has a number of activities and Investments, with interests in areas such as Finance, real estate, health, Sports, hospitality or agriculture. According to the magazine Forbes, in 2011 the family ranked as the 81st worldwide in terms of wealth.
After her Father died, Bertarelli and her brother, founded in 1999 the Bertarelli Foundation to promote the sharing and development of scientific, social and economic knowledge in the field of infertility. For ten years, Bertarelli was Chairman of the Foundation.
The five star Grand Hôtel Park in Gstaad was taken over by Bertarelli in 2003.
Bertarelli is an avid Sailor and since 2007 has raced with her team, Spindrift Racing, in the monotype multihull regattas on the Lake Léman with her Décision 35 catamaran, Ladycat. Bertarelli and her team won the Bol d’Or Mirabaud in 2010. Bertarelli was the first helmswoman to win this race since its inception in 1939.
In January 2013, Bertarelli bought a Maxi Trimaran called Maxi Banque Populaire V for her Spindrift racing team. In the same year, and with the boat now named Maxi Spindrift 2, she co-skippered the team to victory in the 45th Rolex Fastnet and also set a new record for the America Discovery Route, beating the time set by Franck Cammas in 2007 by more than 20 hours.
In August 2015, Dona Bertarelli's Spindrift 2 defended its title by taking line honors at the 46th Rolex Fastnet race. Later that year, on November 22, Dona Bertarelli, with Yann Guichard and their crew, left Ushant Island, France on Spindrift 2, attempting to break the record for a crewed non-stop circumnavigation (the Jules Verne Trophy). While they did not break the record, Bertarelli became the fastest woman to sail around the world.
Bertarelli is an ambassador for the Swiss transfusion charity Ma Vie Ton Sang and is a supporter of the World Health Organization’s ‘Go Red for Women’ campaign. She is also a godmother to the Womanity charity (formerly Smiling Children).