Yesterday evening I received a foglio rosa (liberally translates as, 'pink card'). This does not mean I'm a girl and I must get off the pitch. Nor does it mean that someone did send me a Valentine after all.
No. It's something quite scary. Actually, it's something very scary. Scary for me, but if you're using the roads in the vicinity of Verbania in the next few months, also scary for you.
My advice is : be afraid, be very afraid...
Yes, the foglio rosa is the Italian provisional driver's licence, and I now have one about my person, with my name on it. What did I do to get it? I paid the autoscuola €220 to register, and the doctor €32 for a stamp on a form, which had a €14.62 marca da bollo on it (acquired from the shifty little chap in the tobacconist).
Acquisition of said foglio rosa means I can get started on the practical lessons, and I can practice in any car with someone accompanying me (just as in the UK). The question of where I will find such a courageous hero remains for the moment unanswered. I can, however, take the kids along for the ride (definitely not as in the UK), so perhaps they'll do as chaperones (not really, Mum).
The following thought will be speeding me (if you'll excuse the allusion) towards my first lezione.
People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.
-- Art Buchwald (who he?)