The territory of Castellabate was inhabited by Longobards and then by Normans. Norman presence was very important: lands were drained by Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Cava dei Tirreni. Abbot Costabile Gentilcore (he will become a saint) ordered a fortress to defend the territory from Saracens (that were in Agropoli). The town developed around this strong fortress. It was started in 1123: it also gave the name to the town, from the Latin words Castrum Abbatis that is ‘the castle of the abbot' that was then transformed into Castellabate.
The town became very prosperous thanks to the castle and the port: Castellabate became the richest town of Cilento. During Risorgimento Castellabate contributed to the rebellion of 1848.