The area around Santa Teresa was inhabited in Roman times and was also important to the Pisans, who used the local granite for building. The present-day town was built from scratch during the Savoyard period. It has a regular grid plan with streets intersecting at right angles, in the middle of which is a small square and the church of San Vittorio. The local economy is based on fishing (including coral fishing) and tourism.
On the rocky headland stands the Torre Longosardo, a tower built in the 16th century during the Aragonese period; it affords a magnificent view of Porto Longone bay and, in the distance,
the white cliffs circling the city of Bonifacio in Corsica, which is located only 12 km (7.5 miles) away.
To the left the coast falls away to the beach of Rena Bianca, which ends not far from the Isola Monica, a tiny island which has the remains of an abandoned quarry.