Born in Milan into a patrician family, Taverna studied canon and civil law in his hometown, obtaining doctorate and the title of magister. Later he went to Rome and became referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature in 1588. He was named governor of several Papal towns: Viterbo, (1591), (Città di Castello, 1595–1596) and Fermo (vice-governor in 1595–1596). He became Governor of Rome on April 30, 1599, a title which he held until 1604. In that period he built Villa Parisi.