There were cheers and tears as Amanda Knox came home, her voice cracking with emotion as she spoke for the first time.
"I'm really overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the airplane and it seemed like everything wasn't real. What's the most important thing for me to say is, thank you to everyone who believed in me, who has defended me, who supported my family. My family is the most important thing to me right now and I just want to go and be with them," said Knox.
Knox seemed shell-shocked from her nightmare ordeal and from the emotional roller coaster she went through during the last 24 hours.
Her father and sisters were greeted with hugs as they arrived home, but Knox was in a secret location with her mom.
Her father said, "She is overcome with emotion to be in America again."
"The emotion kind of overran her, which you would expect. It was so nice for her to be back on U.S. soil and home again," he added.
Knox's 74-year-old grandmother Elisabeth Huff told INSIDE EDITION about her first moments back home with her family.
"It was stressful for her, the last week was just horrible, and she needed to go home and just relax. But she's okay," said Huff.
Knox has lost weight, going down from a size six when she was arrested to a size zero.
And the strain of four years of imprisonment has robbed her of her fresh-faced youth.
The financial toll on the whole family has been immense. Legal costs and repeated trips to Italy amount to more than $1 million.
Her sister Deanna dropped out of school and worked two jobs.
And her grandmother surrendered her life savings to help free Knox.
"There's a lot of people who helped us out with that, and that's just how we were," said Huff.
People magazine, on newsstands Friday, reveals a letter Knox wrote from prison to her sisters as the final stage of her appeal approached.
"The heat and humidity is exhausting... I'm so anxious for the end of my appeal. I feel itchy with waiting. I keep thinking about how good it will be to simply talk to you again, which is easier than letters," said Knox.
"She spent 22 hours a day in this tiny cell. So it wasn't easy. She was able to go outside, an hour at a time, two hours a day, and walk around sort of in circles. So it was really tight," said Tatsha Robertson, senior editor at People.
Now she has to start rebuilding her life.
She has already written the first 100 pages of a memoir, and she may use her prison experience to carve out a career, working to free people wrongly in imprisoned.