Daily Life: The Ominous Italian Driver’s License

It’s not the first time I’ve started the process to obtain the ominous Italian driver’s license. I wrote about it some years ago too: about the struggles with the language and how the exam questions are written just to confuse you. I’d love to share that link with you, however, I’m presently blogging from my cellphone and I haven’t figured out how to add a link within text. I’ll share it with you in the comment section.

It’s back to basics it seems, right from the start and, after having driven only automatic vehicles for close to thirty years, this dog needs to learn new tricks and a whole new style of driving.

A mountainous curve. Sardinia, Italy.
Photo by: Jennifer Avventura

Stick shift, standard/manual transmission have very different styles of driving. I’m not interested in taking corners like a Formula One driver so the idea of stick shift doesn’t appeal to me in that sense, it just makes me more freaking paranoid about taking a corner in these small mountainous towns.

There’s more foot and hand movements needed to safely complete those actions compared to an automatic car, where the car just effortlessly glides into gear and you’re able to sing your favourite song while the panorama slowly opens before you.

My Italian friends keep persuading me to learn stick shift for the sake of driving like a Formula One driver, as they all take such corners so tight and fast that my stomach flip flops. They love it! I want to vomit and they don’t seem to understand my complete annoyance at having to learn a whole new style of driving and their tight corners.

What’s the order here?
Let me know by dropping a comment down below.

There is the option of taking all the required written and road tests in an automatic car, but you will be forbidden from driving a stick shift, sounds fabulous doesn’t it? There’s a catch. Most driving schools only provide stick shift cars to their learners. There could be an automatic car available but it’s stuck in someone’s garage 250 kilometers from where you live and it’s missing the steering wheel.

After exhausting all options, I’m about ready to book the written exam, I’m getting three to four errors on the at home quizzes and the odd few times zero errors. I feel confident that within the next few months I can accomplish this ominous goal.

And just a heads up to the people in the valley, I’ll be coming to learn stick shift, take it easy on me. 😉

If you have any tips on the theory or driving exam, I’d love to hear them.

Safe Driving & Happy Travels

11 thoughts on “Daily Life: The Ominous Italian Driver’s License

  1. Wow! I’m sure I’ve seen an intersection like that before! First of all, why study precedence if no one observes it in real-life situations?! lol! So, I want to say E R A L C, but R is closer to the intersection that E! Also, don’t you always give precedence to anyone on the right? Signs would be helpful too! Ok, I give up!!! *SMH ol

    • My friends and I got stuck in a tiny intersection like this once, I think we were somewhere in the south of the island. I agree with you about no one observes precedence anyway, lol! Try again on your guess. I’ll reveal the answer in the next day or two.

  2. I’m howling. I live in Terrasini and really appreciate your candid and honest observations peppered with your genuine emotions. Someday I will make my way to “your” island and meet you!

  3. You have my sympathy. On my last trip to Olbia I hired a car to see more of the country. I decided to visit one of the Village Fairs up in the hills ! I took the scenic route which consisted of steep hills, hairpin bends and sheer drops as you came round corners with only chicken wire between the car and the slope ! At one point I had six local cars behind me – no safe way of passing. Fortunately I came across a Passing Place and they all sped past and I did not see them again. I eventually reached the village safely and the visit was worthwhile. Needless to say my return Journey was on the AutoRoute. Martin

    • Thanks for your great comment! The roads here are so very curvy with massive slopes or cliffs that make your hair stand on end. I’d let everyone pass me too, give me wide open roads and highways.

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