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Italy Itinerary for 1st Timers

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Planning 1st trip to Italy in early March, 2013. Below is a draft of the itinerary. I would appreciate ALL suggestions.
Day 1 (Mon) Leave NOLA for Rome
Day 2 (Tues) Rome - (Hotel Adriano) Free Day
Day 3 (Wed) Rome - Ancient Rome
Day 4 (Thurs) Rome - Vatican
Day 5 (Fri) Rome- Pompeii
Day 6 (Sat) Florence - (Hotel degli Orafi)
Day 7 (Sun) Florence - Galleria dell'Accademia, Duomo, Uffizi
Day 8 (Mon) Florence - Drive/Bus/Train to Tuscany/Sienna/Cortona
Day 9 (Tues) Florence - ?
Day 10 (Wed) Venice - (Locanda Oreseola) Fish Market, Strolling Zattere & gondola ride
Day 11 (Thurs) Venice - St. Mark's Doge's Palace (Secret Tour), Bell tower, Gallerie dell'Accademia
Day 12 (Fri) Travel home

My intention is travel by train between cities, but might consider dropping off car in Venice.
I've looked at flying into Venice & out of Rome, but the total hrs. were much more this way due to longer layovers.
My goal is to buy the airfare and confirm the hotels no later than Oct. 31st.
I'm so appreciative for all comments and/or suggestions of things to do and, more importantly, places to eat.

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