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9 nights in Italy-first time

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I'll be visiting Italy in August this year (yes I'm aware of Italy in August but dates are solid) and would love any advice/opinions as this will be my first time visiting a country I've dreamed of seeing almost my entire life.
We will be coming from London, so the plan is:

Fly into Venice, 3 nights
Florence 3 nights
Cinque Terre (thinking Vernazza) 3 nights
Fly back to the US from Florence

We will be traveling by train to each new location. (will not be going to Rome, not a priority location for us)

Obviously I'd love to stay a lot longer but realistically this is the limit. Is 3 days at each place a good division of time?

I'm using a travel agent to help and for Venice, the 2 hotels I'm looking at that are an option to book through her are Ruizzini Palace and Duodo Palace. Any thoughts on either of those?
A definite splurge from our normal level of hotels but I'd really like some sort of water view (nothing crazy like grand canal, just a side canal would be perfect) from the room, even though we won't be in the room a lot. Is it worth it to stay in a fairly nice hotel (with small view) for the extra money or would you say it doesn't make too big a difference?

Finally any hotel recommendations for Cinque Terre, again would love a water view. Thanks in advance!

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