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Converting a Drivers License in Italy (Turin)

Hello all,
This is my first contact with this community and I look forward to being an active member and render any advice which may help others if when needed.
I am from Australia and have only been in Turin for the last 6 weeks, the plan is to make Italy home.
I have encountered a stumbling block that others may have encountered and would like to ask for any experience advice on obtaining a driver’s license here in Italy. In Australia an Italian can simply go to the roads corporation supply proof of a full driver’s license, perform an eye test and get an Australian driver’s license with the same endorsements (motor bike, truck etc). I therefor assumed that there was some sort of agreement between the two countries, I thought wrong.
I have been told that I may drive with my current license then I will need to sit for a driver’s license from the beginning, which is only delivered in Italian. This will cost me over Protected content and I will lose all of my endorsements and sit for each one again.
I asked them to explain why I would need to sit for a test after driving here for a year as this defeats the purpose of sitting for a test in the first place. I was told that this is the way it is and welcome to Italy.
I would like to hear from others who have faced this issue and any advice you may wish to share.

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