On October 2, 1913, at Teatro da Paz (meaning Peace Theater) members of an amateur football club called Barroquinha decided to professionalise their club, and established a monthly fee to be paid by its members and associates. On October 5, 1913, Associação Atlética Internacional was officially founded. The club was named after a São Paulo city club named Internacional (not to be confused with the still active Internacional of Porto Alegre). According to some fans, the club is named to honor the several immigrant communities in Limeira, like the German, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese communities.
In 1986, Internacional, managed by Pepe, won the Campeonato Paulista. It was the first time that a countryside club won the competition. In the semifinals, Inter de Limeira beat Santos, and in the final, the club defeated Palmeiras.
The club's anthem was composed by Joel Navarini, and it is called "Avante Leão!" (meaning "Go ahead Lion!").
The club is nicknamed Leão da Paulista (meaning "Lion of Paulista"). The nickname appeared after a match between Internacional and Comercial-Ribeirão Preto of Ribeirão Preto. Comercial is nicknamed Leão, and after a successful trip when the club remained undefeated, the club was beaten by Inter de Limeira, which then adopted the nickname.
Inter de Limeira's mascot is called Leão, meaning lion. He is usually depicted wearing the club's home or away kit.