The site of Polizzi has traces of human presence since the 6th century BC, archaeological findings including coins from Himera, Carthaginian remains and a Hellenistic necropolis. In the 4th century it was a Carthaginian fortress occupied by mercenaries from Campania.
People with connections to Polizzi Generosa include:
The families of Sicilian Americans such as film directors Martin Scorsese and Anthony Scarpa as well as character actor Vincent Schiavelli, came from the town. Schiavelli was also a food and cookbook writer who wrote about Polizzi Generosa and his roots in Many Beautiful Things: Stories and Recipes from Polizzi Generosa. He was also buried there when he died.