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Venice/Milan - What to cut out?

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We are in the typical quandry - we want to see it all, but never have enough time.

We have 8 nights - arriving in Venice and departing out of Milan (due to FF miles availability) and are struggling to pare down the sights and towns visited to both maximize our experience and not miss out on too much along the way.

Timing: Arrival October 1 - Departure October 9

Our thoughts:

Venice 3 nights (enough?)
Drive through Inner Veneto - 4 nites (taking suggestions as to where)
Last nite Milan (no Lombardy)

OR

With those 4 nights in the middle try to squeeze in a few nights in the Lombardy Lake region as well as Verona, etc.

OR

Scrap all of that and do Venice and four nights in Slovenia.

Any insights from those of you that have seen these regions would be much appreciated!

Also, will there still be activity in the Lake Como/Maggiore areas or are we too late? I read that the steamers stop running, but can't figure out exactly what week.

Thanks!

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