Numerous findings testify to the fact that the area where Porto Cesareo stands was inhabited in prehistoric times. The Roman reign when the city was renamed Portus Sasinae, is certain but not much evidence remains, except for the seven megalithic columns in green marble, now underwater in the sea. During the dark centuries of the late Middle Ages, the port was slowly abandoned due to silting up of the area and continuous pirate raids. Around the year 1000 the centre began to return to life thanks to a group of Byzantine monks, who built an abbey used until the 15th century. The ownership of the feud where the port was located passed to the Orsini, Acquaviva, and Nardò and the port underwent a period of growing success thanks to trade with Sicily, Greece and the Maritime Republics. The Torre Cesarea was built in the 15th century to protect against pirate raids from the sea. It is still well-preserved and can be visited. The fortunes of Porto Cesareo resumed in the 18th century, thanks to the creation of a tuna-fish factory in the sea in front of the port, which brought back inhabitants from the surrounding areas. Porto Cesareo became a municipality in 1975 and since 1997 it has been the seat of a protected marine area which extends up to 7 miles from the coast.
http://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it Portale Turistico Istituzionale della Regione Puglia