Because of "anti-terror" legislation, you now need to show your passport or driving license to use an internet point in Italy.
This gets photocopied and, presumably registered with the police. I didn't check whether they also get to monitor your internet traffic. Still, heartwarming to see that UK doesn't have a monopoly on useless kneejerk anti-terror legislation.
Only one of the internet points we used turned us away for not having a passport (yeah, strictly speaking you have to carry this around, but I left at B&B). One other accepted a credit card, and yet another (a photocopy shop with a few terminals) didn't bother asking for anything.
Of course, if a slow shared connection, and an ancient PC running Win98, IE (and possible Netscape) sounds a bit too sophisticated for your tastes, a chain of laundrettes also have self-service internet terminals. These don't ask you for a passport, but are cunningly designed to spit out "operation not permitted" messages, for example when checking googlemail (as far as I could work out it complained about https in general).