Driving in Italy is key for many who move to the country – more than a convenience, for some, driving is essential in remote areas to carry out basic life tasks such as getting to work or buying food.
Once you’ve moved to Italy, you can use the driving licence you already own, but only for 12 months after registering for residency.
Some countries have reciprocal agreements with Italy in place, meaning they can convert their driving licences without the need to take the Italian driving tests, according to Italy’s Ministry of Transport.
However, for others, such as the United States, Canada, Australia and currently the UK, this option doesn’t exist, leaving not much time to take and pass the Italian driving exams to get your Italian licence known as ‘Patente B’.
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Should you not complete the required tests within this timeframe, you can’t drive on Italy’s roads until you do.
As getting through the theory and practical exams is known to take around six months, provided you pass everything first time, getting started on revising for your Italian driving test will likely be a priority.
One particular obstacle for people who’ve just moved to Italy is the Italian language required, as you can’t take the tests in English.
Many readers of The Local have told us that the language involved is as tricky as the technical aspect, particularly for the theory exam – although, reassuringly, others say it’s “not as difficult as it sounds”.
To help you learn the terminology and rules you’ll need for the theory test, here are some useful sites to get you in gear.
The theory exam
The Italian driving theory exam consists of 30 true or false questions, of which you can only get three wrong for a pass, according to the latest government circular.
The Italian Driver’s Manual is likely to be your go-to, but for more interactive learning, there are a few platforms to test your knowledge.
Patentati.it has online quizzes and simulations of how the theory test will look, with a timer showing you how many minutes you have remaining to answer all the questions.
When you click on ‘Quiz Patente B’ on the homepage, you’ll find a catalogue of resources, including simple lists of true or false questions, theory broken down by subject and a visual breakdown of road signs.
The practice theory questions are in line with the real, final exam – you’ll come across repetitions of questions worded in a different way to thoroughly check your understanding.
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The site is pretty easy to navigate and free to use, plus you can create an account to see your personal progress.
Quizpatenteonline.it also has plenty of interactive quizzes, simulations and the theory manual broken down by subjects.
It’s a cleaner looking site than the above one with fewer annoying adverts. Plus, it also has a list of the answers most frequently incorrectly answered in the last year.
If there are questions that often trip people up, this is useful to get a head start on and be prepared for if they come up in your final test.
The site has also gamified the theory exam, so rather than taking a simulation test, you can play some games that take you back to the beginning if you make a mistake.
This is useful for repetition and drilling in the information – and as for the language, the more you keep seeing the same terms, the more you’ll remember them.
Another packed site with lots of resources is Mininterno.net. This government portal isn’t as easy on the eye and looks like a forum from the first days of the internet, but there are some useful nuggets of information in there too.
If you click on ‘Patente di guida’, you’ll find a list of different quizzes and lists of road signs, each with their own vast quizzes according to type, to help you prepare.
The site is a little outdated, though, and still tests you on the previously required 40 questions. Still, more practice can’t hurt.
– Social platforms
Social media also have some good support, particularly for English speakers who may find translating the terms in these online quizzes time-consuming.
The Facebook group ‘Help! I need my foglia rosa‘ (the foglia rosa is a pink slip proving you’ve passed the theory test), helps English-speaking residents in Italy who are preparing for their Italian driving exam.
They require you to already be in the country to accept you into the private group.
Other pages such as ‘Study for la patente in English‘ gives tips on the Italian language that can trip you up and cost you a wrong answer.
There are also video resources on YouTube, which explain the theory test in English. ‘Patente B in English‘ has almost 3,000 subscribers and breaks down the Italian questions in English – a good way to first understand the motoring language before you can answer the questions.
If playing on your phone or tablet is more likely to get your head down to study, there are many apps designed to practice for the Italian theory exam – and sometimes, in English.
The ‘Quiz Patente Official 2022‘ is one of the most popular Italian driving theory apps, available in the Google PlayStore and Apple App Store, offering quizzes, video lessons and theory tips. Plus, it’s available in English.
‘EasyPatente‘ is available for download in the Google PlayStore and Apple’s App Store in an increasing amount of languages, including Italian, Urdu, Hindi, French and German – although currently, English hasn’t been added.
The practical exam
Many of the sites mentioned above have some tips on how to approach the practical exam, but as far as understanding your driving instructor and tester is concerned, check our guide on the language you’ll need to pass here.
Have you found useful resources to help prepare you for the Italian driving tests? Let us know in the comments below or contact us here.
For more information on driving in Italy, check the Italian government’s page on steps to obtain a Patente B.