I suppose that by "absolute past" you mean "passato remoto".
People living in northern Italy always use "passato prossimo", whereas people living in the southern regions use more frequently "passato remoto", when they talk about past events.
It is true that "passato prossimo" is used to express a fact happened in the past, but that bears on the present, while "passato remoto" is meant to express an action that was accomplished in the past regardless of its unfolding or relations to the present. But this distinction is actually ignored in the speech: the usage of one form of past over the other is more a matter of habit, even though "passato prossimo" is the most frequent way to express past events. Again, do not make the mistake to equate "passato prossimo" with "present perfect" and "passato remoto" with "simple past".
This distinction, though, is taken into account in the written language, in which "passato remoto" is much more frequently used.
If I were you, I would concentrate my efforts on "passato prossimo" in order to be able to speak. Also, keep in mind that others form of past tenses are usually employed both in the spoken language and in the literary language, such as: "imperfetto", "trapassato prossimo", and the progressive form "stare + gerundio".