The inhabitants of ancient Elis, named in memory of the Motherland, were dedicated to agriculture and the exploitation of rich mineral resources. In 250 BC, during the First Punic War, Elis was destroyed by the Syracusans led by tyrant Hiero II. There is no information on the center in the following Roman, Byzantine and Arab periods.
In 1093 King Roger I of Sicily granted the villages of Alì and Itala to the Basilian monks of the monastery of Saints Peter and Paul at Itala, and the abbot of the monastery became Baron of Alì and Itala. During the sixteenth century, Alì went through a period of great economic and demographic development, due to revenues from mining and the cultivation of olive trees.
On the occasion of the anti-Spanish revolt of Messina in the years 1674-78, Alì, with Fiumedinisi and Savoca, remained loyal to the Spanish Monarchy, and as a result suffered the devastation and looting at the hands of the Messinese. Because of these events, the town never returned to prosperity. The earthquake of 1783 caused various damagea, and the population began to move towards Marina di Alì, discovered by European travelers for its thermal springs, still active today.
In 1818, after the abolition of feudalism in Sicily, Alì became a comune in the District of Castroreale. In 1911, the hamlet of Marina Ali became a separate comune with the name of Alì Terme. Between 1911 and 1960 Alì took the name of Alì Superiore, then in 1960 returned to the original name of Alì.