Tips for (learning to) driving stick while in Europe?

Today I took a lesson in a manual car in preparation for my upcoming trip to Europe. After a quick stop in Paris, I’ll make my way over to Milan and I want to rent a car for the remainder of the week in Italy.

It’s not my very first time driving a stick but, at 1 hr, it’s the most seat time I’ve had. It was... “ok”. I didn’t instantly love it that way I thought I would but I gotta keep at it. I do have a motorcycle so I am familiar with being in charge of my own riding experience. And I’ve played a lot of Forza, so I’m not totally new to this. Durr.

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The car I drove today was a Veloster turbo. I felt like I had to shift up from 1st to 2nd quite early (@ 3000 RPM I was only around 20/25 km/h). The car I’m thinking about renting in Europe is a Fiat 500X. Hertz has it for around €200 a week whereas a regular 500 is listed at €79 a day! What’s up with that?

Anyways. I wasn’t a fan of my driving and it was frustrating me. I am quite smooth with my shifts on my bike but it wasn’t working so well in the Veloster. I was able to take off from a stop just fine by the end but 1st to 2nd was never smooth. I think that I was taking too long with the clutch and the revs were dropping by the time I shifted up. I tried to compensate by giving a bit of throttle but that was pretty disastrous. It was quite a different experience from my motorcycle, that’s for sure.

So fellow Opponauts - I am wondering if you have pointers (links to some videos that you endorse maybe) that will give me things to focus on and practice while I’m tearing up the Italian roads.

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