Villa Sciarra is one of the urban villas of Rome located on the slopes of the Janiculum hill between the districts of Trastevere and Monteverde Vecchio, bounded in part by the Gianicolo Walls, which can be accessed by two possible entrances: the first on piazzale Wurts, designed by Pio Piacentini, which takes its name from the last owner, George Washington Wurts, to whom we owe the arrangement of the garden and the monuments it contains, and the second on Largo Filippo Minutilli. It takes its name from the papal noble family of Sciarra.
The last owners, before the Villa was donated to the Italian State, were George Wurts, an American passionate about gardens, and his wife Henriette Tower, a wealthy heiress of Philadelphia.
The couple had the building completely renovated in neo-Renaissance style and redesigned the garden: they placed numerous eighteenth-century sandstone statues there. The statues and fountains that adorn the garden are inspired by characters from mythology such as fauns, cherubs and nymphs and are largely from the Visconti Palace in Brignano Gera d'Adda, in the province of Bergamo, which in turn fell into ruin and sold. auctioned in 1892. On the fountain of the Satyrs and on that of the Putti it is still possible to identify the heraldic snake of the Visconti family.
The building inside the Villa is currently the headquarters of the Italian Institute of Germanic Studies and for this purpose it was modernized in 1932 by the architects A. Calza Bini and M. De Renzi.