The island of Augusta, linked to the mainland by two bridges, has always served as a key stronghold and military base since the 13C, when Frederick II of Swabia built its fortifications to protect the eastern coast of Sicily and enlarged it with the inhabitants of the nearby cities which had rebelled against him and thus been destroyed. During the 14C, it was torn by the rivalry between Aragonese and Angevins for its possession.
It was occupied by Frederick of Aragon, who later yielded it to Count Moncada di Montecateno (16C). In order to protect it against Muslim and other Berber attacks, the Fort Avalos by Marquis Ferdinando Avalos of Pescara. In 1676 it suffered severe damage from the bloody struggles opposing the Spanish and the French, but it was rebuilt and fortified with new boundary walls by the Viceroy Benavides. Completely destroyed by the 1693 earthquake, it was soon rebuilt. Augusta, which is still a military port, has witnessed a considerable maritme trade development following coastal industrialization, with the establishment of huge petrochemical plants. Of particular interest is the small peninsula of Brucoli, where traces of Neolithic and early Bronze Age settlements have been found.