Pro Loco associations were formed in 1881 at Pieve Tesino, in  Trentino-Alto Adige.
Originally called supervising committees or embellishing committees, according to some studies their origin is closely linked to the Badie, ancient groups to which communities, in the past, turned to for the managing of collective festivities.
Even then the spread of these associations was detected throughout Italy and the rest of Europe.

This situation is reflected even today: currently the number of Pro Locos accredited in Italy are over six thousand, and the activities carried out by them are related to diverse areas of intervention, such as tourism, social, culture and sports.

They are of particular importance in the development of tourism, especially that which has to do with typical local traditional products of food and wine, and popular or folk traditions, and the protection and preservation of historic, artistic, architectural, cultural and environmental heritage.