I used to live in Perugia, too. In 1976 when I was 20. And I also studied Italian there and consider that year to be the most formative of my life. Without my time in Perugia, and later Florence, I can’t immagine the way my life would have turned out. Probably a lot less interesting.
I have no idea if she’s guilty or not, but it sure looks like she was convicted with bogus evidence. As much as I love Italy, I can’t vouch for any true democracy there, so we’ll see what happens. Italy is different. Courtrooms have crucifixes in them — not exactly impartial. You’re not innocent until proven guilty. Try reading the Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, an incredible book which does a great job outlining the Italian judicial system around a series of serial murders in Tuscany back in the 70s and 80s.
I feel a kinship with Amanda. Your 20s is an age where one discovers oneself. And when you do that overseas, it’s absolutely nothing like doing that at home. It’s transformative, just by default. And if she is innocent, and if she’s freed, I trust she’ll use her entire experience to make a good life for herself.