It’s the biggest Umbertine Fort of the Messina Strait, both in dimension and architectural value.
The Fort was one of the first to be built, and construction works only took 4 years (1884 to 1888). Construction costed £ 1.900.000 liras including both construction costs and expropriations.

The Fort was equipped with a substantial amount of weaponry: ten muzzleloading howitzers 280 millimeters GRC, probably manufactured by Ansaldo, two muzzleloading cannons 12 centimeters GRC, four muzzleloading cannons 9 centimeters BR and two 15 Krupp mortars. The building could house around 1000 troop soldiers.

The Fort has a quadrangular shape, with the left side being non aligned and forming a sort of rectangular trapezoid with a deep moat circling the triangular-shaped front.

The moat is protected by two caponiers: a traditional-shaped one protecting the northern arm of the Fort, and a semicircular one protecting both the western and southern fronts.
The front positions were built to cover a 120° area over the Strait of Messina, corresponding approximately to the area going from Villa San Giovanni to Torre Cavallo.