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Need help with 9 day itinerary. Landing in Milan and departing Rome...

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We are visiting Italy this September and in order to maximize our time we planned different arrival/departure cities. We are thinking of doing the following cities.
Milan->Venice->Florence->Rome. But we are torn on the number of days to spend in each of them. I've been reading quite a few blogs and everyone says that for a 9 day trip, doing 4 cities would be foolish. But we are unlikely to come back to Italy anytime in the future and so we definitely want to see most of the popular destination before we leave. Is that such a bad thing?? We are a couple in their mid-twenties. We love to explore but also love to eat and drink...
How many days should we spend in each of them? I read somewhere that 1 day in Milan, for first timers should be good. Venice is beautiful but extremely expensive..so 2 days should be ok there...Should we knock off/add any other places to our list? We are also thinking of doing a day trip from Florence to some of the smaller towns around it...

Any help/advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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