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Which comes first the airfare or the lodging?

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I am eleven months from the desired dates of my first trip to Italy! Naturally, I realize that it is way too early to be booking anything. You can't even look at flights on Kayak.com past April 2015. However, I can't help but wonder when the time comes, which should I focus on first? I do not have exact dates that I have to take my vacation. I know that it will be 19-21 days in May of 2015. I know some people like to just go with the flow and book their rooms wherever they end up that night. That is not my plan for this trip. Since this is our first international trip I'd like to have those details worked out to save time later.
For those of you that have not already been following my plans and helping me so much, below is a rough draft of my itinerary to give you an idea of my plans

http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/italy-itinerary-first-international-trip.cfm

When planning past trips (domestic only though) I've always booked flights first to make dates concrete. I figured that would be best with this trip so I can adjust my plans around which days of the week I need to be in certain cities incase of closures etc.
I have seen on other threads, sites, and forums where a lot of people recommend booking lodgings first, which confuses me. I tried to find answers as to why on my own, but haven't. So here I am asking for your help and thoughts again. Which is better? Does it really matter? If so I'm curious why?

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