When a fresh-faced Amanda Knox arrived in Perugia four years ago, she was one of thousands of American students enjoying being young, free and single away from home.
But her life changed overnight when she became caught up in one of the most high-profile murder cases of recent years and shot to international infamy.
Following her arrest, her good looks and lurid headlines about her sex life splashed across newspapers made her a transatlantic object of fascination.
Her nickname, Foxy Knoxy, on social networking site MySpace was assumed to be a reference to her sex appeal and was adopted by the press.
In fact it was borne out of her skills on the football field, her friends and family insisted.
This was just one of the many ways in which the world got Knox wrong, her supporters said.
Originally from Seattle, she was a University of Washington student who went to Italy to study.
She described herself on her MySpace page as a lover of “good wine, rock climbing, backpacking long distances with people I love, yoga on a rainy day, making coffee and lots of languages”.
Not long after arriving in the medieval hilltop town where she hoped to learn, make new friends and enjoy herself, she developed a relationship with Italian IT graduate Raffaele Sollecito.
The night her housemate Meredith Kercher was murdered, she was at her boyfriend’s house, smoking marijuana and making love, she said.
But on November 6, 2007, she was arrested in connection with the killing and was accused of playing a leading role in what prosecutors alleged was a bungled sex game that ended in the violent death of the pretty Leeds University student.
Knox denied any wrongdoing, but during a lengthy police interrogation she eventually pointed the finger at local bar owner Diya “Patrick” Lumumba.
Explaining how she came to make the false accusation, she later told jurors she had been confused and under pressure.
It was the officers questioning her who had suggested Mr Lumumba and so, worn down by the long interrogation, she agreed, she said.
Knox was to spend the next four years in jail, all the while protesting her innocence.
The first stage of her spell behind bars lasted almost a year, during which she endured a long wait to learn whether she would be charged with murder or released.
This culminated with the news she had been dreading on October 28, 2008, when Judge Paolo Micheli decided she and Sollecito should stand trial.
So began a further 13-month wait behind bars for the pair, interrupted only for a couple of days a week when they attended the many hearings in the lengthy judicial process.
Despite her young age, Knox has appeared to hold her own throughout most of her ordeal.
In June 2009 she confidently gave evidence in fluent Italian, which she had mainly learned in prison.
She told the court how surprised she had been when police interrogated her after the murder and how bad she felt about implicating Mr Lumumba, who employed her as a barmaid.
She was in shock, she said, when she heard about the gruesome death of her housemate and could not believe what had happened.
Contrary to what had been suggested, she had enjoyed a good relationship with Miss Kercher, she insisted.
Together the two of them discussed literature, dined in restaurants and went to Perugia’s annual chocolate festival.
She could not understand why she was arrested, she said.
Knox’s family and friends have been vocal in their support for her, and vehemently rejected the portrayal of her as a wild child fuelled by alcohol, drugs and sex.
Her younger sister Deanna has described her instead as the “kindest person” she knows – a normal girl who did not “go crazy” with men in Italy, as her detractors once suggested.
Her father, Curt Knox, insisted she was a “regular kid”.
They are all hoping and praying that today’s verdict will vindicate them.