Fuoco! I shouted yesterday when I was looking for the belt to my favorite camel-colored coat. It dropped off somewhere between here and there, anywhere from Green Acres to Villa Torlonia. I re-traced my steps, like my mother always says, and went to the dentist, UPS, Lotti Cafe, the Hotel Flora (leit motif) and finally Villa Borghese where I had started the morning. Nothing.

Il Potere di Fuoco! I tried again, using Winx magic that a five-and-a-half-year-old fairy taught me. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Angry, I walked to the Casa del Cinema and right into the Winx conference.

Winx? You don’t know them? In just three days you will. Winx Club is an extraordinarily popular animated series in Italy and Europe, and slowly rising in popularity in the US. Aisha, Stella, Flora, Tecna, Musa and Bloom are high-school aged fairies who combine together with magic power to combat and defeat the Malevolent Forces of Magic.

Lord of the Rings meets Spice Girls, in techinicolor anime’.

Sounds saccharine? Just a little. The Winx have inspired girls all over Italy to run around shouting “Amica, aiutami!! Il potere di fiori!” and then cross their arms in front of their faces with hand signals like gang signs. Since March, I have been trucco’d as a trixie and sprinkled with enough magic powder to be forever known as Bloom by my primo elementare counterparts. I picked Bloom because she’s like me, a regular girl who happens to be a princess, loves the color blue and has the power of fire. I just discovered that her birthday is December 10, my half-birthday. I supposed I picked well because on November 30, Bloom takes center stage on the big screen as she and her best friends search for her real parents and save the lost kingdom.

Fuoco!” One last time. The magic works. My belt was found. . . on a bench just outside the Casa del Cinema.
What kind of fairy are you?
So pick your power, get ready to throw the Winx gang sign and fight some evil:

Bloom: protagonist of the film and my favorite. A regular girl who happens to be a princess, loves the color blue and has the power of fire. Sagittarius. 80s Equivalent: Josie from Josie and the Pussycats 90 Equivalent: Lola from Run Lola Run

Flora: A modern day hippy whose flower power is subtle and strong. Flora is a shy and smart Pisces who makes her own perfumes, and always wears pink. Main adjective: Nice. 70s Equivalent: Kelly from Charlie’s Angels

Aisha: A no-nonsense Gemini, great dancer, loves the color green and has the power of liquids. Aisha isn’t keen on dating, and has an arranged marriage. Somewhat of a wet blanket. 70s Equivalent: Foxy Brown plus Sabrina from Charlie’s Angels

Stella: the fashionista and politely promiscuous. Friendly and intuitive, Stella is the kind of best friend you always need at your side. She is not a brainiac and probably was held back one year in school. Her color is orange, sign is Leo and she has the power of the sun and the moon. 70s Equivalent: Jill from Charlie’s Angels

Musa: booksmart and another Gemini. Musa wears red and is a bit of a tomboy. I really don’t get Musa (what is the power of Music?), aside from her cute pixie hair cut. 70s Equivalent: a less-annoying Janet from Three’s Company

Tecna: the tech goddess/geek. She’s the sporty nerd that I think I was growing up. Obviously not obsessed with her hair or looks, Tecna is just cool. She loves the color purple and is a Sagittarius. Her power is technology. 80s Equivalent: Joe from the Facts of Life