Roberto Tottoli was born in Villanuova sul Clisi (Brescia) on the 5th September 1964. After high school (Liceo Scientifico E. Fermi) in Salo' (Lake of Garda), he obtained a degree in Oriental Languages and Literatures at the University Ca' Foscari of Venice in 1988. He has done his PhD studies at the Istituto Universitario Orientale of Naples from 1991 to 1996 and the Hebrew University in 1993-1994. He has taught Islamic studies at the Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, University of Turin from 1999 to 2002. Since 2002 he has taught Islamic Studies and Islamic Arabic literature at the University of Naples L'Orientale.
His research interests focus on Muslim traditions and literature. His early studies and his PhD have dealt with the stories of the biblical prophets in the Quran and Islamic literature, especially in the early centuries of Islam. He later expanded his interests to hadith literature, Quranic exegesis, and also to Muslim contemporary literature. In more recent years its interests focus on issues such as textual criticism in relation Arabic texts, the literary genres of Islamic literature, and contemporary Islam. Since 2001 he has also written review-articles on scholarly literature on Islam appearing in “Oriente Moderno” (“Bollettino di islamistica”).
Roberto Tottoli is in the editorial boards of some scientific journals, he is a regular contributor to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, he writes as a commentator on issues related to Islam and the Islamic world on Corriere della sera. He has lectured in numerous international conferences and congresses, edited and published several books and numerous scientific articles (see curriculum).