According to legend Fondi was created by Hercules. Fondi has been a trading post for the Greeks, the Etruscans and the Volscians. It obtained the Roman citizenship “sine suffrage” in 338 BC.
It was often reduced to poverty because of the barbarian invasions and assaults of the Saracens and then reached its peak of affluence under the rule Caetani (1299-1504).
In 1387 it was the scene of the Western Schism with the election, in the cathedral, of the antipope Clement VII, opposed to the legitimate Pope Urban VI.
In 1504 the court was assigned to Vespasiano Colonna and his young wife Giulia Gonzaga (sung by Ariosto in Orlando Furioso), the girl of extraordinary beauty and intelligence who brought splendour and cultural renaissance so that in the Renaissance age Fondi was renamed “Little Athens”.
Unfortunately, its fame also did cause to rush to Fondi the infamous pirate Kair-Ed-Din, called Barbarossa, who in 1534 attacked the town to kidnap the beautiful Giulia Gonzaga and give her to the Sultan Suleyman II. The girl managed to escape and the corsair vented his anger looting and burning Fondi.