Flights to Italy

I have been searching for flights to either Rome or Florence from either JFK or EWR for the past three months. While I understand that air travel is high right now, what I can't grasp is why an airline would expect you to pay these exorbitant prices and endure a travel duration of up to 36 hrs. or even 16. So finally my question is, does anyone have a fav travel site that I may not have tried (and I have tried MANY)where I might find a flight where I won't be held hostage? I have resigned myself to the fact that I am going to pay $1,000+ but I do not want to take 2 days to travel. I would greatly appreciate any input.
P. S. I have tried every day of the week. Wanted to travel late Sept or early October.

Posted by battista
Philadelphia, USA
26 posts

Thank you Agnes. I have the ITA app. Btw, I prob do sound as though I take it personally...because I do. We just call it different things...you, supply/demand, me gouging. $1100/$1200 is hard to swallow after paying $750 last Sept from my little local "international" airport (thru PHL) to Rome.
Michael, your suggestion was Chipmunk? Thanks, that is one I usually do check but totally forgot about it!

Posted by Sharon
Atlanta
2664 posts

We're using a combination of Kayak.com and ITA matrix software but it's not easy. We're still searching too! You might also try flying into Milan, Bologna or Verona.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2529 posts

I understand, those layovers kill me. I sometimes find a good fare into Zurich and the fly Air Berlin into Italy. Keep your options open about what city you'll fly into, you can find cheap (relatively) connections from the major cities.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6732 posts

Battista, I see the 32hr flights for $1,033 round trip. You change planes in Madrid, Istanbul or just outside of Moscow. The Italian airline, Alitalia has a non-stop to Rome from JFK for $1,390 round trip. 8hrs25min. Not bad except for the price. Alternatively, you could go for the 1-stop. Air France has a 1-stop from JFK to Pisa. You change planes in Paris. $1,175. 11 hours. From Pisa, there is a train station in the airport. In about 1 hour, you are in Florence. Train fare is 7,90Euro. You will change trains once at Pisa Centrale. You could fly into Pisa and out of Rome or Milan but it might cost a bit more for the flexibility. For Florence, you won't find any carrier that flies to Europe from the U.S. that will fly you directly to Florence. You will change planes in a major EU hub first before going to Florence. We've done this with a plane change in Frankfurt. Same with Venice.

Posted by battista
Philadelphia, USA
26 posts

Update: found a flight on SAS for $1037, EWR to FCO, a little over 12 hr duration each way. Not sure if I will do any better. Thank you so much for your input and suggestions.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

http://www.itasoftware.com/
Leave your dates flexible and look at best dates a month out Also, consider Iceland Air with an Icleand Stopover, or Turkish Air (they have great fares but you will have to stop in Istanbul - but it's a price vs. convenience trade-off) The airlines don't "expect you to do anything" - everything is demand driven by computer software and algorithms based on demand/supply - there is really no human factor in this, so don't take it personally. It would be ideal if you could fly off season - that's really the only sure thing to saving time or money

Posted by battista
Philadelphia, USA
26 posts

@ Michael, sorry, I meant "hipmunk". I was picturing their little Chipmunk logo. Oops!