Just wanted to post a link which is very useful if you are considering travelling with a laptop or looking for online access abroad.
Solid advice and info including very cool links for ATM finders, internet cafe finders (backpackers.com),international subway systems, airports etc.
There were scads of internet cafes in Italy (even 1 in Venice) when we were there last year. Phone land lines are shakier there than here, and lots of people tend to rely solely on their cell phones for phone service. We found that out renting in Rome (our apartment didnt have a land line so we couldnt connect our computer modem). Also, I suspect DSL service is a ways away there. This may account for the relative popularity of the internet cafes. Nevertheless, this should not be a problem in hotels, and we were able to get a connection in 3/4 apartments we rented in Italy. As in France this year, this required only two simple bits of additional equipment, an electrical adaptor (same one for France and Italy) and a phone plug (different for the two companies.