In Roman times the vicus Caelanum had an important strategic role, being right on the via Valeria and along the Fucinum Lacum, and maintained a remarkable role also after the fall of the ROman empire, as shown by the Lombard settlements of Secuntiano, Oretino e Porciano. Moreover, the lake kame in later times to be known as "Celano Lake". The early medieval town, originally on the top of the Monte Tino, was destroyed in 1223 by Frederick II, and the inhabitants rebuilt their houses where Celano still rises today. The County of Celano belonged to many feudal lords, among whom Lionello Acclazamora, the Piccolominis, the Perettis, the Savellis and lastly Sforza-Cabrera-Bodavillas. As many other centres in the Fucino basin, Celano was heavily hit by an earthquake on 13 January 1915, which claimed thousands of lives in the Marsica and utterly destroyed many centres.
Today Celano is a lively agricultural and industrial center, with modern sports facilities and a growing cultural tourism aimed at the rich artistic and historical past and the natural beauty of the surrounding territory.