He was born in Messina in 1693, in a family of silversmiths and engravers. After he started religious studies, he moved to Rome in 1701, where he could study, under the guide of Carlo Fontana, the works of Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini perfecting himself and becoming member of the Clementine Academy. The first project for the Palazzo of Lucca is from this period.
From 1714 he began his services to the king Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoia in Turin. He realized a lot of projects of civil and religious buildings such as the Superga cathedral, the new Palazzo Madama's facade and the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi.
The activities for the king of Sardinia didn't prevent him from receiving a large number of commissions from Italy and abroad.
In 1724 he worked on the Palazzo of Lucca.
For Lisbon, where he personally went, he designed the cathedral and the castle; in Madrid, where he died, he left the drawings and the model for the new Filippo V's Royal palace.