The town had its origins as an ancient Volscian citadel that surrendered to the Romans in 424 BC. Its name in ancient times was Fabrateria Vetus.
According to tradition, the name was changed into the current one in the early Middle Ages, in honor of one Petronius Ceccanus, father of Pope Honorius I. Conquered by the Lombards at the time of King Aistulf (c. 750), later it became an important fortress of the Papal territories. From 900 to 1450 it was ruled by the local Counts of Ceccano, most likely of German origin; later their territories were assigned to Rodrigo Borgia by Pope Alexander VI and then to the Colonna family.
From 3 November 1943 and 31 May 1944, during World War II, the town suffered 38 air attacks from Allied forces despite having no strategical importance; in one of them the Church of Santa Maria a Fiume, a national monument, was destroyed.
Church of Santa Maria a Fiume (13th century), rebuilt on the original lines after the destruction in World War II
Church of San Nicola (12th century), including columns with inscriptions in Lombard style.
Castello dei Conti, a medieval castle overlooking the Sacco River Valley.
During excavations for the construction of the TAV high speed railroad, remains of a large Roman villa have been discovered.