San Paolo was founded in the mid-15th century, mostly as a colony of Albanians. Nearby had existed since the 1st millennium BC an ancient town of the Daunians, Teate or Tiati, known by the Romans as Teanum Apulum.
Civitate was the seat of a diocese in the 11th century, when its bishop Amalgerius or Amelgerius took part in two provincial synods in 1061 and 1062. From 1545 to 1550 its bishop was the celebrated astrologer Luca Gaurico. In 1580, the seat of the bishopric was moved to San Severo. No longer a residential bishopric, Civitate is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.