The first settlement of Monterosso was probably founded by the Albareto on the hill and destroyed by the Longobards in the 7th century. The oldest district was founded in the 9th century below the Castello of Monterosso, in the valley of the Buranco stream. As a protection against the Saracens, watchtowers were erected along the coast in order to recognize the risk of pirate attacks in ample time. The remains of some towers can still be seen today. Monterosso al Mare was first mentioned in 1056.
Traditionally, the main source of income was fishing. In the 12th century, agricultural use began with the cultivation of wheat and wine and the cultivation of lemons. In addition to the Cinque Terre wine, the longer matured and therefore sweet dessert wine Sciacchetrà was produced. It is a specialty of the Cinque Terre.