You'll remember a couple of months ago when I wrote about taking and not passing the driver's exam (I refuse to say fail here as this test is not pass/fail. It's you got questions to answers you happen to know, or the gods were against you and you didn't and so try again in thirty days).
Well, after those thirty days, a lot of extra help from Franca and an agonizing amount of more studying on my part, I did retake the exam and this time the gods were squarely in my corner as I answered twenty-eight questions correctly, enough to move on to the next phase of auto school, the practical driving lesson.
This involved moseying around our little town at a snail's pace for up to an hour while one of the two instructors rides shotgun and feeds you proper driving technique, just as they do in the US. You know the drill: using your blinker, coming to complete stops, parking and other situations you find yourself often on townie roads, which is hilarious because it seems anyone here already in possession of a license has pretty much abandoned all those practical measures and more.
It's simple chaos for the most part, so all of my fellow new patente (license) holders you best augment your freshly acquired knowledge and the freedom it brings with some more appropriate defensive measures, like skirting four-wheeled obstacles, updating your notions of what constitutes a parking spot, and maybe improve your powers of perception with an introductory course into ESP.
Franca had passed the written exam on that first go around–either from good fortune or just good smarts—but because of travel plans, she and I were able to finish our practical driving lessons together and this past Tuesday we both went before the Holder of All Patente (in our neck of the woods anyway), cruised without error around the block after answering a few questions on tires, liquids and operator controls and other such mechanical stuff, and were awarded our official Italian Licenses.
We both were relieved to have it over, and while not having it hasn't impeded our ability to drive here whatsoever (thank you AAA), after forty some years of driving ourselves and our kids from here to Kingdom Come, plus the additional six months of Auto Scuola, it's nice to finally be a legit driver: Italian style.
Now if we could only find something Italian to go with it.
But, honestly, this is more our speed
Sorry I don't have a picture of our actual car. We walk everywhere and besides that it's seventeen years old and has lost any cosmetic appeal it may have once enjoyed (it didn't).
So anyway, cheers! Or as our driving instructor shared with us: Buona Strada!