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CARS

How to park like an Italian

Confused by what appears to be a lawless approach to parking in Italy? Don't worry! The Local has come up with the definitive list to help you steer your way into Italian driving.

How to park like an Italian
Freestyle parking appears to be a competitive sport in Rome. Photo: Rosie Scammell

Foreigners often find themselves perplexed in Italian cities, confronted with an urban landscape that appears to have about as much order as a dodgems fairground ride.

Cars litter the roadside, often crawling up curbs or spilling haphazardly over pedestrian crossings. They cling to corners, spill out of spaces and can often be found in the most improbable places. Mopeds, too, wade into the madness, reclaiming pavements from those who unreasonably seek to stroll.

But amidst the chaos, The Local has observed some unwritten rules which govern this truly Italian phenomenon.

Parking Rome by Rosie Scammell

Double parking is a must, for example, especially at lunchtimes. Those who fear trapping another driver in are mere amateurs, unaware that those on the inside will politely seek them out if inconvenienced. This involves a veritable orchestra of horn-blowing, occasional shouting and wild gesticulation. 

For more tips, check out our gallery of how to park like an Italian.

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BREXIT

Q&A: What to know about the Italy-UK driving licence agreement

After the UK and Italy announced a deal meaning British residents can swap their driving licences in 2023, The Local answers your questions about how the process will work.

Q&A: What to know about the Italy-UK driving licence agreement

Following the British Embassy in Rome’s announcement on December 23rd that that the UK and Italian governments had signed a long-term agreement on the issue of driving licences post-Brexit, the British government has now published some further details about the deal in guidance published in an update to its ‘Living in Italy’ web page.

Once it comes into force, the agreement means residents in Italy will be able to exchange their UK-issued licence for an Italian one “without the need to take a test”, the British government confirmed.

READ ALSO: UK and Italy sign long-term agreement on driving licences

British ambassador to Rome Ed Llewellyn said the long-term agreement would come into force in “early 2023”, though no specific date has yet been confirmed.

The UK government also confirmed that the grace period had also been extended again to allow holders of UK licences to continue driving in Italy – which means you won’t need to take any action just yet.

In the meantime, we’ve received a number of questions at The Local from readers wondering how the rules might apply once in force.

Here are some of those questions answered based on the British government’s latest guidance.

Who will be able to exchange their licence?

The guidance states that the agreement “will apply to all holders of a valid UK licence provided that they have been resident in Italy for less than six years at the time of application for exchange,” but added: “UK licence holders who acquired residence in Italy on or before 31 December 2020 may exchange their licence even if they have been resident in Italy for more than six years.”

When should I start the exchange process?

It’s not clear when this will be possible yet – but UK licences will remain valid in Italy until the end of 2023.

As the government’s guidance says: “You can’t exchange your licence yet, as the agreement will need to enter into force.”

“We will provide an update on these proceedings in due course. In the meantime, we are pleased to announce that current arrangements on driving in Italy for those holding a UK licence remain in place. Valid UK driving licences held by those who are resident in Italy by 31 December 2022 will be recognised until 31 December 2023.”

What will the process involve?

Full details should come once the UK-Italy bilateral agreement come into force, but for now the requirements for conversion of licences from other countries which have similar agreements with Italy may give an idea of what you’ll need to do.

The Italian Ministry of Transport’s website states that applications must be made at your local Ufficio di Motorizazzione Civile (find yours here), and requirements currently include completing a form, paying a €32 fee, handing over your original licence, and providing copies of your Italian tax code and ID.

READ ALSO: Who needs to exchange their driving licence for an Italian one?

Italian police officers setting up a roadblock

Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Can all categories of driving licence be exchanged?

It looks like the deal covers most types of licence, but we’ll need to wait for confirmation for each category.

“Tables of equivalence have been included in the agreement and the majority of categories will be able to be carried over to an Italian licence,” the guidance reads.

Will I have to give up my UK licence?

If you were hoping to keep hold of your UK driving licence as well as getting a new Italian one, it seems you’re out of luck.

“It is not possible to hold licences issued by the UK and Italy at the same time,” the UK government’s guidance states.

“If you live in Italy, you can drive on your UK licence for the first twelve months of living here, during which time you must obtain an Italian licence,” it adds.

“If you return to live in the UK at any point, you will be able to exchange your Italian licence for a UK one without taking a test.”

If I previously swapped my Italian licence for a British one, can I now switch back?

It looks as if this will be possible once the deal comes into force, as the guidance says:

“You will be able to exchange your licence to an Italian one provided that the country where your licence was first issued has an agreement or understanding with Italy on licence exchange.”

See the UK government’s latest guidance on the deal in full here and find more information on their official Living in Italy page.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on individual cases. For further information, we recommend speaking to your local Ufficio di Motorizazzione Civile in Italy. 

We will update this page with further information once it becomes available. Find our latest Brexit-related news updates for UK nationals in Italy here.

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