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Travel plan for Italy

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Hello everyone!

So this August I will be flying into Rome. It's going to be my first real trip overseas and I am going to be leaving Australia alone! Scary right?

Anyway, My plan is to land in Rome and spend a night or two there before heading down to Sicily where I will be meeting for the first time, my best friend and spending the period of a month with him and his family. I would see the north of Italy first but my friends wants me to go down for the end of their holiday time in August. After this, I have two weeks to spare. I don't know if I will ever make it back to Europe so I want to make the most of it and see as much as I can, so after my extended visit I wanted to see Rome, Venice, Florence and Cinque Terre.

Now I come here for everyones help. I have been doing a lot of research and would like to sort some things out but I have some questions;

What is the best way AND the cheapest way to do this? I was thinking maybe fly from Catania up to Venice and catch trains from Venice to Florence and down to Rome, Good idea or no?

Is two weeks enough time to see these places? How should I balance my time between them all?

I thought I would travel from Florence to Cinque Terre, what would be the most effective way to get there and how much time should i allow? I have word of just doing a day trip but the source was less than perfect.

Would appreciate any help! It's time for me to start sorting things out haha any suggestions would be great :-)

Thankyou!

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