The Fort was part of a defensive system conceived and built by the Arma del Genio Militare between 1888 and 1903 on the two fronts of the Strait of Messina, considered a sensitive and strategic point in the Mediterranean. The fortifications, which were intended to respond to naval attacks, were built by making them invisible from the sea and were placed on top of hills as hypogeal architectures protected with moats, soapboxes and drawbridges. First a military space, then squatted by local criminals, it is now a place where knowledge, knowledge of making and knowledge of relationships coexist and contaminate each other.
The Park has become the operational headquarters of the Messina Foundation, the co-founding socio-economic clusters and other organisations that are part of the Distretto Sociale Evoluto.
It is a privileged place for training, research, work and social integration activities and a venue for festivals and cultural events. The specific themes of the Forte Petrazza Park are social art, science and astronomy, social and solidarity economies and evolved models of community welfare.
The many workshops for children, teenagers, and communities are supported by immersive multimedia art sets to reflect on the evolution of the Cosmos (through virtual journeys to black holes) and on possible urban metamorphoses, the overcoming of suburban ghettos, and the need to transform economic and welfare paradigms in such a way as to combine justice and freedom, economic and sustainable human development.
The park is also an interdisciplinary environment with an astronomical observatory and a natural theatre surrounded by nature and open to the powerful landscape of the Strait of Messina.