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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mission Accomplished w/Autoscuola Montebello

I can pat myself on the back because today I passed the second exam required to obtain my Italian drivers license. I started the day very early and had to be at the driving school at 7:30 a.m. There were four of us taking the exam today and we were accompanied by two instructors in two different cars. We were driven to the area in which the exam would be given. As we pulled up to this nondescript street, I was surprised to see five other cars from various auto schools parked in the same area. Each auto school had four to eight students that were to be tested today.

Our examiner arrived 15 minutes late and to our dismay this was the first time he would be giving driving exams. Our instructors did not know him and did not know his methods. We were all wondering if he was going to be strict or lenient, would he be soft spoken or loud and most importantly would he be gentle. We paced and paced and paced as we waited for him to arrive. Normally the driving exam’s range from about 10 to 20 minutes but we would not have such luck today. Being it was his first time to give the driving exam he took each of us for a 30-minute ride. I was the last one to take the exam, everyone before me passed and I was left quite frozen as I had been standing on the sidewalk and waiting for an hour and a half. (The owner of the auto school told us this is the way things are done even in winter. He offered me a seat in one of the instruction cars that was not being used. In addition, I was also offered a quick trip to a bar in case I needed something to drink/eat and needed to use the restroom.)

When it was finally my turn, I was as nervous as can be even though I have been driving for over 15 years. (I had practiced driving exams yesterday and the day before yesterday for about an hour each. I have not driven a stick shift in over a year but it was no problem.) The examiner told me to relax, to breathe, to obey the rules of the road and not to drive like a Formula 1 driver. As I drove, I was careful to use my signal lights, to look In my mirror’s, to turn my head and body completely as I backed the car up, to give precedence to drivers on the right and I was super careful when I navigated around a giant traffic circle. In the end after a rather anxious 30 minutes, I passed the driving exam and walked away with a new driver’s license. With this new drivers license I can drive anytime I come back to Italy and anywhere in the European Union. It expires in 10 years time is a €300 I think it was worth it.

I must say a few words about the auto school that helped me get my driving license. Marta, Nino and Adriano were wonderful to me. Marta drilled me on street signs and the rules of the road for two straight weeks. Never once did she raised her voice or get frustrated when I forgot the rules. Nino, her husband accompanied me to the DMV to take my oral exam. He was the picture of calm as he paced the waiting room on my behalf, giving me tips here and there while encouraging me. Adriano took me for two separate practice-driving exams and showed me the theoretical rules of the road. He never once got annoyed and treated me with the utmost respect. I cannot say it enough good things about this auto school. They cater to foreigners and have helped countless people get their driving license. If you are in Torino, near the center of town you definitely have to check them out. Give them a call today. Even if you are not from the area they may be able to give you some valuable advice.

AutoScuola Montebello
Via Montebello, 4B
10124 Torino

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At 7:49 AM, Blogger Sara said...

Congratulations! Man, those licenses are expensive!

At 3:58 AM, Blogger Giulia said...

Congratulations to you! I know how hard it was to go through that whole process. I arrived here at the end of April, and by mid July I had my license. You got lucky with your fee. I paid 450 euros! Yikes... I feel so ripped off. All a waste of money, especially since I already had had an American license for 12 years!

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Yay! Congratulations!

At 7:51 AM, Blogger american girl in italy said...

Brava!!! Yeah for you!


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