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Help us plan Italy 3 weeks!

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My husband and I are going in September to celebrate our birthdays. So far, we fly to Venice arriving Sept 6 in the afternoon, leave from Rome Sept 28th. We travel light with carry-on bags only and are easily able to change hotels and locations, having done so recently in Thailand and Greece. We're hoping to see the main sights, of course. And... we are outdoorsy and active - want to hike and bike and spend time near water. Here's a tentative plan and would so appreciate feedback and hints on transportation...

Venice 2-3 nights, train to Cinque Terra
CT - 2-3 nights, train to Florence
Florence 3 nights, rent a car on day 3, drive to Tuscany
Tuscany, 5-7 nights, return car, train to Rome
Rome 3-4 nights, train to Amalfi (or... Sardinia has been recommended vs Amalfi???)
Amalfi coast 3-4 nights
last night Rome for 6am flight back.

That is 6 hotel changes, 1 less than we did in Thailand.
Please send any ideas, critiques, helpful hints, hotel recommendations for low to mid budget.
This is hubby's 6-0 birthday so want it to be memorable for him. By the way, neither of us have been to Italy...
thank you! changemaven

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