He studied sculpture at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts (1961-1962) with Venanzo Crocetti and then at the Rome Academy of Fine Arts (1963-1969). During the same period, he attended courses in interior design and fresco. During 1967-1970, he was curator at the Department of Sculpture, Rome Academy.

In 1971, his first solo exhibition was held at the Schneider Gallery in Rome, followed by solo exhibitions in Italy, Greece and other countries. He also participated in Panhellenic exhibitions as well as group exhibitions in Greece and abroad, including the Budapest Biennale of Sculpture (1975) and the Biennale del Bronzetto in Ravenna (1979), where he won the gold medal.

An anthropocentric artist, Manolis Tzombanakis takes his subjects from history, fable, ancient Greece, nature as well as social and political life. Using various materials – bronze, marble, stone, steel, wood and reinforced concrete – he creates works characterized by intense movement as well as a blend of Cubist and Futurist qualities, to which he gives symbolic status by analysing volumes into geometric forms and rearranging them with sharp volume sections.