The center of Itami became a wealthy town by the middle of Sengoku period. It was named Itami-go (town of Itami) and known as the only Japanese town within a castle (usually Japanese castles were located far from domestic areas). Itami-go was a part of Castle Arioka which Araki Murashige ruled under Oda Nobunaga. After the uprising and defeat of Araki, the castle was torn down.
Most of Osaka International Airport is located in Itami (hence the common name "Itami Airport"): it is Osaka's primary domestic airport, although all international flights and many domestic flights shifted to Kansai International Airport in 1994. Despite the airport's association with Itami, the terminal complex in truth sits in the neighboring city of Toyonaka, and the Itami city center is connected to the airport only by a long tunnel that passes beneath the runway and tarmac.
The city is also famous for Koyaike Park, which features a large model of the Japanese archipelago set in a circular pond. The park is a frequent sight for passengers on flights into Itami Airport. Moreover, Itami is one of the important sake-brewing cities in Japan. Some historians claimed Itami was the place where seishu, clear sake, was invented.
Japanese singer Hideaki Tokunaga lived in Itami city. Sister city is Hasselt sity, Belgium.