Have you ever dreamed of traveling to someplace new? For McMinnville resident Cierra Fann, that dream destination was Rome, Italy and through Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee, Cierra spent a week in the Eternal City, along with her mother, sister and grandmother.
Inspired by her eighth-grade history teacher, Cierra said she found photos from his trip to Rome really interesting. Since then, she’s developed a passion for art and enjoys drawing. Cierra graduated from Boyd Christian School last year and has a condition called limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), a term for a group of diseases that cause weakness and wasting of the muscles in the arms and legs.
So last month, after being picked up from her home in a special limo, Cierra arrived at Nashville International Airport ready for her first trip abroad. Although not always the most wheelchair accessible place, Cierra and her family didn’t let that stop them from experiencing the city, especially the art.
Rome houses some of the most renowned museums and art galleries worldwide. With a history spanning 3,000 years, Rome is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. Cierra described exploring the Vatican museums, Galleria Borghese, Capitoline museums and the Doria Pamphilj Gallery with a private tour guide.
“We spent several hours in Galleria Borghese, which was one of my favorite spots,” described Cierra. “They had a lot of Caravaggio paintings and sculptures, including The Abduction of Proserpina by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.”
Added Judy, “The detail of that sculpture was impressive. You could see the impression that Pluto’s hand makes in Proserpina’s leg.”
Besides admiring the artistic treasures and masterpieces of Roman art and architecture, Cierra said she really enjoyed the food, especially the pizza, pasta and gelato. In fact, it became their nightly ritual to stop by Portofino Caffe for the frozen dessert.
“My favorite flavor was coffee and I also drank iced coffee and even tried a straight espresso shot too,” said Cierra with a smile.
As far as other noteworthy spots, Cierra mentioned visiting the Colosseum, Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. She brought home several souvenirs including magnets, a T-shirt and a new sketch pad to remember her Roman escapade.
“From this trip I learned that it can be a great thing to take a big chance and seize the moment,” said Cierra. “The outcome, experience, and memories are something I will never forget.”
Cierra and her family expressed their gratitude to Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee, one of 60 chapters nationwide, part of the largest wish granting organization in the world.
“It’s important to us to grant wishes like Cierra’s because wishes give wish kids the opportunity to forget about their illness, their treatments, and their medical regime, and just enjoy being a kid,” said Make-A-Wish president and CEO Beth Torres. “We believe that every wish kid deserves that.”
As for Cierra’s plans for the future, she’s going to enroll in some online art courses to refine her artistic skills.