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Venice to Rome train questions

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I'm a train newbie, I've been on two in my life; one was 10 years ago and one was from London to Dover for the day. Help please?

When we go to Italy in August, my Mom and I will take the train from Venice to Rome after our tour. I've read so many stories about never taking anything bigger than carryon size onto a train but that just isn't likely to happen. My Mom is used to packing for cruises and tends to pack more than strictly necessary and we're both going to want space for gifts/purchases. We'll probably both take 24-25" rollers and a daybag. We can both easily lift 50 pounds up stairs and the bags won't be near that heavy. What do we do with our bags on the train? Are seats assigned or do we choose our own?

Is the train station in Venice easy to find? What's the best way to get from the main tourist area to the train station? I'd rather pay a bit more and make it easy. My goal is ease on this trip so that I don't scare Mom away from ever traveling with me again. :)

I'm assuming that train tickets can be purchased whenever we get there and that we don't need to book those ahead of time, is this reasonable for the end of August? We'll want the 3 hour train and not the 5-6 hour train if that makes a difference.

Is there anything else I need to know about getting from Venice to Rome on the train? Think Trains for Dummies! ;)

Thank you all in advance!

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