In Australia, it is a fairly straightforward process to get an International Driver's Permit. A quick visit to our local motorists association with a copy of a current valid driver's licence is all that is needed. If you are in the US check out where to get an International Driving Permit in the US.
What will be more interesting will be negotiating driving on the 'wrong' side of the road in a country notorious for busy, narrow roads and a relaxed attitude to road rules. One thing is certain. We will need access to maps and directions to find our way around Italy. One option is to take our own GPS navigation system with us.
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