The city has very ancient origins and is considered the heart of the Gulf of Policastro. In Roman times the bay and its hinterland were held in high esteem; visited by Cicero who called it "parva gemma marls inferi" (small gem of the South Sea), admired and praised by many travelers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century who appreciated the beauty of the places and the goodness of the local population. It is known for having repeatedly obtained the Blue Flag, an award given for its clean waters, the last of which was in 2019.