Alessia Tonelli was born in Florence in 1987. She studied at the Universitá degli Studi di Firenze. She received her master's degree in Psycholgy in 2014. The same year she started her PhD program at IIT in the Unit for Visually impaired people (U-VIP) under the co-supervision of Dr. Monica Gori and Dr. Luca Brayda.
Her PhD program focuses on spatial cognition in blind and sighted people, paying particolar attention on a peculiar technique developed by some blind people known as echolocation.