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France – Italy 4 week Itinerary Help!

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My boyfriend & I are embarking on our first trip to Europe this October. We are in our mid to early 30’s and are just excited to see everything, absorb in the culture, eat & drink etc but we would preferably like to see the less touristy traps.
We are going for about 4 weeks (28 days) and are landing and departing from Paris, France.

We are totally and utterly overwhelmed with places to visit, things to see etc but having spent a lot of time reading all the forums and getting a whole bunch of ideas – the similar thread seems to be less is more! We now have a very rough idea and have narrowed it down to a rough itinerary.

We are thinking of going –

Most of the trip is via Eurorail

Paris – 6 nights (Versailles, Champagne, Reims region)
Lyon – 3 nights (via rail)
We are undecided whether we should go to:
Avignon OR Montpellier – 3 nights

This is part of the itinerary where we are stuck? We can’t seem to find a train that takes us from Avignon or Montpellier to either Venice, Florence?

Venice – 4 nights
Cinque Terre – 3 nights
Florence – 3 nights
Rome – 3 nights

Should there be a part of the trip where we drive perhaps?

Any advice/suggestion/help would be kindly appreciated.

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