Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Driving in Italy

After over a year of struggling to concentrate on studying for the Italian Driver's License in the English language, I felt I was finally ready to take this haunting exam. Just at that moment, the Italian government decided to make all foreigners take the exam in Italian and additionally changed the format and types of questions. Just my luck! 

So I studied for about 6 months in Italian, and frustratingly tried to understand the Italian logic and 10,000 road signs, types of vehicles (including apes) and how many Kw each vehicle had. Really ironic how hard the exam is when you think about how crazily and disobediently they all actually drive! 

Well last month, feeling good, I failed the exam by one point. Devastated and squeezing it into this one week that I was home, I tried again and thankfully passed yesterday! What a relief! Even though I must say this was torture for me over the last few months, there were a few funny questions that just made me laugh. Only in Italy:)


A driver who drank an excessive quantity of alcoholic beverages can regain the ability to drive quickly if they consume foods which are rather salty!
Un conducente che ha assunto una quantità eccessiva di bevande alcoliche può recuperare velocemente l’idoneità alla guida se assume cibi piuttosto salati

- The consumption of alcohol makes driving safer, more cheerful and less boring!
L'assunzione di alcool rende la guida più sicura, più allegra e meno noiosa

- Eating foods which are difficult to digest can provoke a decrease in attention span and an increase in reaction time.
L’alimentazione con cibi di difficile digestione può provocare una diminuzione dell’attenzione e un aumento dei tempi di reazione

- Suitability to drive can be impaired if you drink bitter coffee.

L’idoneità alla guida può essere compromessa se si fa uso di caffè amaro

- Suitability to drive can be impaired if you drink carbonated beverages

L’idoneità alla guida può essere compromessa se si fa uso di bevande gassate

- When elderly people cross the carriageway, you need to take notice that, having more experience and a larger range of vision, they can better foresee dangerous situations.
Quando le persone anziane attraversano la carreggiata bisogna tenere presente che, avendo più esperienza e un campo visivo maggiore, intuiscono meglio le situazioni di pericolo

Questions like these were my comic relief throughout the process. Now I can leave for vacation relaxed and carefree. My over a month long trip already seems to be booked up with business appointments, bocce ball tournaments, side trips to L.A., the mountains, and of course San Francisco. So goodbye for now and I will keep you updated from the other side of the ocean!

-a presto!


  1. These are funny!! Have in a good time in the States.

  2. The fun and clever photos are good companions to the amusing questions on the exam.

  3. hahahahaha... those are hilarious! I haven't decided yet if I want to take the test or just rely on public transportation. I'll wait to see how your adventures in driving are coming along and decide from that! hahaha

  4. After reading your post, I'm really scared about taking this test. I moved to Italy a week ago and quickly discovered that my driver's license is not recognized by the Italian authorities. I had heard stories about these crazy questions but you pretty much confirmed they are real. Any advice on how to prepare for it?

  5. Big Congratulations! I especially love the comment about the elderly!!
    ciao lisa

  6. Hi there... yea it is a hassle! you can go to a driving school, pay a lot of money and be surer to pass. Or you can do it by yourself and buy the quiz book from the driving school. Do all the quizzes by yourself, do quizzes online and then book your exam with the Motorizzazione. You must take it in Italian so be sure you know italian first! Good luck and thanks for reading the blog!

  7. Grazie mille! I'll make sure to get the quiz book and do the quizzes (I refuse to pay for driving school classes).

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