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Flying from East Coast to Italy - Strategy for Cheap Flights?

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I am based in the Washington DC area, my fiancé and I are going to go on a honeymoon the end of next summer (sometime in July-Sept. 2015) and I am trying to figure out the best strategy to find the cheapest flights. I have read that 1-3 months prior is the best time to buy plane tickets? I can't imagine this is true. Also I read sometimes January is a good time to buy. Any truth to these ideas? I know the common tip of buying on a Tues/Wed for best price but other strategies/tips would be appreciated.

We are based in the DC area but can fly from any airport pretty much on the east coast. Are international flights typically cheaper from NYC? Is there a place in Europe that is cheaper to fly into than others? I am open to a NYC > London > Rome type itinerary if it is cheaper to buy the individual legs and piece together an itinerary.

Suggestions welcome!

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