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Luggage questions for train travel in Italy.

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In May my husband and I fly into Venice and out of Rome. We plan to do most of our travel by train, and some bus. Our stops include Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore), Florence, siena, a quick stop in Pisa and lastly Rome. This trip stretches over three weeks.
I planned to pack a 24" soft suitcase that an be rolled, carried as a duffle or worn as a backpack. I will have a small day bag myself and then I am hoping to go with a similar style bag for my husband that I mentioned above but carry-on sized.
Can you tell me about luggage check while traveling by train in Italy. From what I am hearing/reading my trains should all be regional, correct? I read a horrifying detail this morning that it can take an extra day for your luggage to arrive if you check it? Someone please tell me this isn't true. Do I need to "check" a 24" bag on a train? I don't want to assume.
I have am considering bagging (pardon the pun) bringing a suitcase at all and just doing carry-on sized bags. If bringing a larger bag is this much of a hassle... I will reconsider.

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