The settlement has ancient origins, probably dating back to the 2nd century, when the Ligurian Statielli, who lived in this area, were forced to give in to the advance of the Roman legions, despite strenuous resistance. Some archaeological finds (tombstones and funerary steles) testify to the Roman presence.
The etymology of the name is unclear, but could be associated with its strategic position: Mons occelli, or “mountain of the eye”, in other words a place for a lookout station; another theory is instead linked to the name Monexilium, perhaps a reference to the exile of monks to a hill close to the village’s current location.
The bulk of the “Caldera” castle can be seen from the road, rising up behind the fields of maize and watching over the village, whose brightly coloured houses recall the Ligurian riviera.
Almost nothing can still be seen of the original 13th-century construction. During the 18th century the defensive complex was transformed into a noble residence.
The oldest part seems to be the impressive substructure built into the hill, effectively a stone terrace. The central tower, decorated with swallowtail battlements, is still in good condition.
Further modifications were made in the 19th century and the century after, until the whole building was adapted for parochial uses.