The pentagonal building rises on an artificial island in the port which is now connected to the mainland by three bridges. It was a project commissioned by Pope Clement XII, designed by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli, and built (1733−1743). It has originally had no land link to the mainland.
Over the years, the site has taken different functions, mainly as a military citadel since the 19th century. During World War I, there was a failed attempt to sabotage the Italian naval resources by 60 infiltrating Habsburg sailors. Now it is used as a site of the museum Tattile Omero, as well as home for various exhibitions.

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