In the part of Viareggio towards Migliarino Pisano, the fine Torre Matilde stands out against the sea on the Darsena Toscana near the mouth of the Burlamacca canal.
Outstanding example of XVIth century military architecture the tower is the most characteristic historical monument in Viareggio.
Its name is due to the fact that it was wrongly ascribed to Matilde of Canossa, the countess who lived in the XIIth century. The restored interior of the tower has three storeys, a terrace and a room containing the cistern. The upstairs rooms have a surface of approximately 8 m wide and 6 m high with a metal staircase and the central winze. The cistern for rainwater is under ground level and can be reached through a trapdoor.
From the nineteenth century until the end of WWII, Torre Matilde housed a prison. Its original structure came to light after a series of interventions by the Monuments and Fine Arts Office of Pisa in the decade 1970-1980 that removed the internal partitions necessary when it was used as prison.
The building, now in good condition, is used for cultural events and temporary art exhibitions.
The tower is public property and open to visitors.