Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Italian Driving School For Beginners.

I have started classes at the l’autoscuola (driving school). There are three other women around my age but the majority of students are in high school. Two of the guys have braces. They look so young to me.

One of my classmates is American. Her mother is American, father Italian and she went to high school in Italy, which is why she didn’t get her license before. She is studying aboard for a year. She sits next to me in class and translates things I don’t understand.

Apparently our professor is funny. The class is constantly cracking up. I finally got some the jokes this week. When I first started the class they were covering the final chapter in the book, all about the components of the car. God help me.

Now we are at the beginning of the book. I’m able to follow better since we are covering chapters I have already studied. I’m answering more of the quiz questions correctly. The classes are in Italian but our professor pulled up the test quiz questions in both English and Italian for me.

I have received my foglio rossa (learners permit). I can practice driving with a driver who has at least 10 years of experience. I think I will wait until after I take at least one driving class at the school.

To be honest, now I’m more stressed out about the written test than learning how to drive stick/manual. I miss driving and look forward to getting back out on the road again (as long as it’s deserted…I won’t be driving in the center of Rome anytime soon!).

Our professor told us to really focus on learning signage since 60% of the questions on the test are about signs.

He then said there are over 400 of them! What the heck? Am I wrong to believe that is a pretty big number? Oh well…I have lots of studying to do.


Lilacspecs said...

I admire you. I'm not thrilled about learning to drive a stick and we don't own a car so I only get to try every 3 or 4 months so the lesson I do get, totally never sticks. I was lucky enough to get my Belgian license before the law changed so I never had to take a test here.
Thank goodness.

Skywalker said...

I remember my mom having to learn German driving laws - man that was hard!

Good luck.

anna l'americana said...

Nothin' to the driving, sorta like driving in NYC. Plus, sidewalks are considered roads so you have more options! No Fear!!!!

Anyway, most of the centro is ZTL so how much driving in there are you really going to do?

There is no point to getting a license to just drive around the Raccordo - so dive in baby, dive in. We'll catch you, promise! No Fear! (Say if with me: NO FEAR!).

Tracie B. said...

400 questions?! well it ain't italian if it ain't drammatica.

Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura said...

Components of a car? Just the brake, steering wheel, accelerator and key hole are enough for me!

Being an Italian test, if you smile sweetly at the examiner he'll probably point you towards the right answer...

erynchandler said...

wow congrats on taking the plunge into italian driving school. that would scare the crap out of me!

do you plan on getting a car while there?

glamah16 said...

Now thats something I would be so scared of. God help me if we ever move to Sweden. I hear thier test is insane.

Ms. Wooden Shoes said...

In the words of Chaka Khan (or would it be Prince?) "I feel for you". Seriously, though, good luck with that. When I arrived in Holland, many moons ago, you had a certain time period in which you could exchange your American license for a Dutch one. All I can say is "Thank you God". I have seen too many people damn near lose their mind over that.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

lilacspec - I hope my first driving lesson in a closed parking lot. That way everyone is safe. ha

skywalker - thanks. Yes Diana another expat said it was brutal and tougher than the Italian test.

anna - I used to drive in NYC BUT only on sundays. ha. Okay I will say NO FEAR every time I get in the car.

tracie b - oh no there are over 600 questions that could appear on the test. There are over 400 signs. There are 30 questions on the test.

scintilla - ha. I don't think that is going to work now that the tests are computerized. If the verbal test was still available perhaps I would have luck out with a nice examiner. There is an entire chapter in the book on car components, break downs on the engine, brakes, cooling system, steering etc. My driving tests in the U.S. didn't ask such thing.

eryn - residents of Italy are supposed to apply for their license within one year of obtaining residency. I do plan to buy a car when I buy a place in the country. See I dream big. Do I know how I will be paying my rent later this year? No Do I still think I will be able to afford a house in a few years? Yes. ha

glamah16 - I decided to just jump right in and get it over with. Fingers crossed.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

ms. wooden shoes - oh how I wish I could just exchange licenses. It's also crazy expensive to buy the books, take driving lessons, etc.

Diana Strinati Baur said...

flash cards, ragazza, flash cards. They will make your life easier.

Don't worry, it is doable. Considering the quality of drivers in this country I am surprised any of them actually passed the test at one time. If they can do it so can you.

What used to play with my mind in deutschland was that they would ask the questions like this: here is a sign, what do you do when you see it? I think Americans expect: here is a sign, what does it mean? For me, that was a huge difference... like they did not care if I really understood what was going on, only that I knew how to react to the sign. I thought that was wierd. I wonder if it is the same here?

Diana Strinati Baur said...

That didn't come out right. I meant if they can do it, you will be able to do it with one hand tied behind your back and blindfolded. You know what I mean. :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

diana - I know what you meant. :) I will get some flash cards. Here they will show a sign with three questions (you can do this when seeing this sign or this sign means) and you have to answer true of false.

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

It's true, it's mostly signage. And the other biggie is "precendenza"... they have all those diagrams showing cars coming up to wacky intersections and you have to indicate the order in which the cars go. Which of course is effing hilarious considering that none of the theory actually occurs on the roadways, but, whatever!! In bocca al lupo!!!!

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Oops I meant precedenza. It's always A DESTRA. Oh, and don't try to turn right on a red. Hee hee. My driving instructor thought I was straight up lying when I told him we can do that here in the States.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

shelley - the diagrams of the different intersections in my book made my head hurt. Seriously. Thanks for the tip. I asked about right on red and my classmate looked at me like I was nuts. ha