Traces of Roman and Etruscan civilizations found in the Church of Saint Caprisio indicate that there were settlements in Aulla long before the 8th century CE, when margrave Adalbert I of Tuscany founded a village and built a castle to accommodate pilgrims traveling the via Francigena. Here, at AguillaSigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury, sojourned on his return journey from Rome about 990. The Malaspina family wrested feudal power of the city and its contada from the domination of the bishops and dukes of Luni. In 1543 the Centurione family purchased it. They built the Fortress Brunella, which was bought in the early 20th century by Lina Waterfield, and remains privately owned, functioning as a museum of natural history for the Lunigiana region. One of the most important buildings of the town is the Abbey of San Caprasio that was founded in the 8th Century and was named by Saint Caprasius of Lérin, whose body was transferred to Aulla in the 10th century.
In 1943 the historic center of Aulla was destroyed by Anglo-American bombings aimed at German troops stationed there during the Second World War. A replica of an unexploded bomb is preserved in the Abbey of San Caprasio. In April 1945 the 442nd Infantry Regiment (United States) liberated the city of Aulla, after fierce battles with retreating German troops.
^Geo Pistarino, Una fonte medievale falsa e il suo presunto autore (University of Genoa, 1958) demonstrated in detail that the notorious "cartulary of Aulla", supposedly drawn up at the end of the thirteenth century, was in fact a forgery by Alfonso Ceccarelli, who was executed for other forgeries in 1583.
^F. P. Magoun, Jr., "The Italian Itinerary of Philip II (Philippe-Auguste) in the Year 1191" Speculum17.3 (July 1942;367-376) p. 373. Magoun notes that Philip Augustus of France may have stopped here on his more leisurely northward journey in 1191, but the possibly corresponding entry in his itinerary is unclear.