The name remembers the roman family of Acilii, which during the roman age owned their estates here.
In the years around World War I the zone, once plagued by malaria, was reclaimed. The first modern settlements took place during the 1920s, but only the opening of the Via del mare and of the railway between Rome and Ostia boosted the development of the area. In 1940 Mussolini inaugurated a settlement designed by the architect Dario Pater. Here were hosted many inhabitants coming from Borgo, which had lost their homes because of the demolition of the spina.
Today Acilia belongs to the XIII Municipio, the part of Rome that overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea.