Zagarise is one of the municipalities of Catanzaro province that is adhering to the national association of Oil Cities (Città dell'Olio), an organization that aims at protecting, promoting and enhancing olive oil and the olive-growing landscape. The extra virgin olive oil produced in Zagarise is of high quality. There are numerous active oil mills in the area some of which produce biological olive oil and export it abroad. The noble preacher Father Giovanni Fiore from Cropani, who was a 17th century writer, started to talk about Zagarise in his famous historical work: Della Calabria Illustrata, in which he questioned the thesis of the historian Grano, according to which the first nucleus of Zagarise dates back to the late 14th century when people fled away from Barbaro, a nearby hamlet, where at that time there was a violent plague. After the terrible plague of 1413, which lasted ten months, the local population was forced to abandon everything and move towards healthier places; so for this reason according to the writer of Cropani, people fled from Barbaro and went to enlarge and not to form the population of the other two neighbouring lands, Zagarise and Cropani, which at that time already existed. Today there are only a few remains of Barbaro, such as heaps of stones and simple house ruins; observing the place it is easy to comprehend why the ancient people chose it as a dwelling. Barbaro is located downstream of Sersale and south east of Zagarise, it has a privileged defensive position, receiving protection from the high grounds and also from the deep, beautiful valleys that descend towards the sea. Zagarise was founded around the year 1000, and at the beginning of the 12th century the population suffered dominations, invasions and persecutions, during that period Zagarise was a fief of the Norman Ugo Falloch, in the 19th century the territory passed from the lordship of Le Piane to that of De Dominicis.