The ships of the class had a length between perpendiculars of 99 meters (324 ft 10 in) and an overall length of 105.7 meters (346 ft 9 in). They had a beam of 18.04 meters (59 ft 2 in) and a draft of 7.2 meters (23 ft 7 in). They displaced 6,397–6,614 metric tons (6,296–6,510 long tons) at normal load, and 7,057–7,128 metric tons (6,946–7,015 long tons) at deep load. The Vettor Pisani class had a complement of 28 officers and 472 to 476 enlisted men.
The ships were powered by two vertical triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one propeller shaft. Steam for the engines was supplied by eight Scotch marine boilers and their exhausts were trunked into a pair of funnels amidships. Designed for a maximum output of 13,000 indicated horsepower (9,700 kW) and a speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph), both ships exceeded their designed power during their sea trials although only Carlo Alberto met her designed speed. The two had a cruising radius of about 5,400 nautical miles (10,000 km; 6,200 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).
The main armament of the Vettor Pisani-class ships consisted of twelve quick-firing (QF) Cannone da 152/40 A Modello 1891 guns in single mounts. These 152 mm (6 in) weapons had 40-caliber barrels. All of these guns were mounted on the broadside, eight on the upper deck and four at the corners of the central citadel in armored casemates. The M1891 guns weighed 6.6 metric tons (6.5 long tons) and fired a 45.4-kilogram (100 lb), armor-piercing, capped shell at a muzzle velocity of 700 m/s (2,297 ft/s).
Single 40-caliber QF Cannone da 120/40 A Modello 1891 guns were mounted at the bow and stern and the remaining two or four 120 mm (4.7 in) guns were positioned on the main deck between the 152 mm guns. The 20.4-kilogram (45 lb) armor-piercing shell had a muzzle velocity of 645 m/s (2,116 ft/s) when fired by these guns. For defense against torpedo boats, the ships carried fourteen QF 57 mm (2.2 in) Hotchkiss guns and six or eight QF 37 mm (1.5 in) Hotchkiss guns. They were also equipped with four 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes.
The ships were protected by an armored belt that was 15 cm (5.9 in) thick amidships and reduced to 11 cm (4.3 in) at the bow and stern. The upper strake of armor was also 15 cm thick and protected just the middle of the ship, up to the height of the upper deck. The curved armored deck was 3.7 cm thick. The conning tower armor was also 15 cm thick and each 15.2 cm gun was protected by a 5 cm (2.0 in) gun shield.