We will be cruising up the western side of Italy with stops in Malta, Naples, Rome, Pisa, Cannes and then back to Barcelona. I would like to use my I-pod touch for e-mail and internet access. Does anyone know if there are coffee shops or cafes in those areas which would have Wi-fi available.
Starbucks and McDonalds locations usually offer 30 minutes of free WiFi with a purchase, reasonable rates after that. It's rare to find Wifi that is completely free, you typically have to pay for it. There are some merchants that give it away but they are the exception.
And also keep in mind that in Italy you will find no "freely available" WI-Fi. Any access requires an authorization by the provider. By law they are supposed to register any users as an anti-terrorism measure.