In the past, the Mani area was known for its fierce inhabitants, who lived in isolated fortified towers (some of which are still present today, either in ruins or having been restored). The towers offered protection in an area where feuding was commonplace.
Stoupa also has literary history. It is where the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis travelled to with George Zorbas who Kazantzakis employed as the foreman of his lignite mine, the entrance to which can still be seen in a hillside nearby. It is their time together in Stoupa that the novel Zorba the Greek is based upon, written after hearing news of Zorba's death. There is a bust of Nikos Kazantzakis on the cliff overlooking Kalogria beach, at the corner of the main road and the beach approach. Stoupa is just 7 km away from the historic area of Kardamili, which is mentioned in work by Homer