The "Coppa Inter-Europa" was first held in 1949, on the 6.3-kilometre (3.9 mi) circuit. The race expanded to 1000 kilometres in 1954, and moved to the 10-kilometre circuit in 1956. The event was shortened and returned to the 6.3-km track the next year. In 1960 and 1961, the race was a part of the FIA GT Cup.
In 1963, the race was held as a three-hour event for production-based cars in the World Sportscar Championship before being expanded to a 1000-kilometer distance in 1965. Until 1969, the full Monza circuit which included the banked oval was used, although chicanes were installed in 1965 at the beginning of the second banking (south curve) and in 1966 at the beginning of the other to slow cars down. A lap was 10.1 kilometers long, yielding a total distance of 1010 km after 100 laps. From 1970 to 2008, the shorter Grand Prix circuit (approximately 5.8 kilometers) has been used for 173 laps.
Although named the 1000 km of Monza, the race has at times been run at shorter lengths, most notably in the late 1970s and early 1990s before the demise of the World Sportscar Championship in 1992.
In 1989 the race was cancelled due financial problem of Automobil Club of Milan and for the rebuilding of boxes and paddock facilities.
Since 1992, the race has been used on and off by various series, most notably, the BPR Global GT Series, the Italian GT Championship and Challenge Endurance Italia series in 1997 and 1998. The FIA Sportscar Championship also held a single running of the 1000 km in 2001.
In 1995 and 1996 the race was valid for the BPR Global GT Series, reserved to GT cars, with the "4 hours" format.
After a 1997 without the race, the 1998 edition was not valid for any international championship, returning to the 1000 km format and open also to sportscars.
In 1999 the race return to be valid for an internatiomal championship, the SportsRacing World Cup. with distance reduced to 500 km.
In 2000 the race was held on the 500 km distance but was called "1000km" due the fact in the same day on the morning, a race of 500 km valid for FIA GT Championship was hald held.
In 2001 the race valid for the FIA Sportscar Championship return to a reral 1000 km format. After a year without race, in 2003 the race return to the 500 km format.
In 2004, the race, again on 1000 km, were resumed as a part of the Le Mans Series, which has held the event since then. A race for 2006 was planned by the Le Mans Series, but had to be cancelled due to protests over the noise pollution caused by the event. Agreements were later reached to allow the event to return in 2007.
The record of most wins currently belongs to Jacky Ickx, who has won the race in 1972, 1973 and 1976.