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Time of day for train travel - Italy

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Hi everyone. I am in the midst of planning our two-year-late honeymoon to Italy. We’re going in mid to late October 2012 (plane tickets have been purchased arriving in Venice and departing Rome, but that’s about it). We’ll take a train between cities. Our tentative itinerary is this: Arrive in Venice airport on the morning of 14 Oct. Stay three, maybe four, nights. Arrive in Florence and stay 3-4 nights. Arrive in Rome and stay four to six nights before departing on the evening of 26 Oct.

At this point, I want to make hotel reservations but I’m getting stuck on dates/number of nights. Originally, I had been thinking a late afternoon or evening train trip would be best to make the most of our day and to arrive at our new destination and check in and go to sleep. However, now I’m thinking this will require us to bring all of our luggage with us from morning of our check out to when we board the train (when traveling between Venice and Florence and Florence to Rome). I’m not a fan of that idea. I’m hoping for some feedback on the following:

Would you travel by train during early mornings or late afternoon/evenings?
Do most hotels allow you to ‘check’ any bags with them if you arrive in the morning and your room isn't ready yet?
Any feedback on the number of days/nights in each place? Is this doable for wanting to see many of the popular sights in addition to having some relaxing time to people watch and shop?

Thanks so much in advance.

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