Today we went to the AAA office in Norwalk, OH to get an International Driving Permit (IDP). This document is good for a year and allows us to drive in a foreign country without obtaining a local drivers license. This permit is an addition to our Ohio drivers license and is only valid when presented with the Ohio license.
The process to obtain the IDP is relatively simple but dealing with the Norwalk AAA office was not the most pleasant experience. I had filled out the online forms from the AAA web-site (name, address, license #) and printed those to take with us; of course they couldn't use those forms but had to copy the information on to what looked like the exact same form that they had. Then we had to sit for passport style photos, during which the photographer would not tell us she was going to take the photo but just snap the photo even if we were looking off at a map on the side wall.
We at least have the IDP and if we are able to stay in Italy for more than a year we will have to obtain an Italian drivers license, which I understand is a whole new experience in Italian bureaucracy.