We had to skip going to the Consulate on Wednesday due to family illness, so we went back on Friday and our visa application was accepted. I think the main difference was that we had our information a little better presented and simplified, and showed what our income would be while there (and where it comes from, etc.). During the week we also found on the web various stories about people having a difficult time at some of the Italian Consulates in other parts of the country. My take on the whole thing: they are trying to discourage or at least slow the amount of Americans coming into Italy. Just the fact that they have adopted much shorter hours (Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 9:00 to noon) at all offices makes that seem likely. There are also stories floating around that they take 20 or 30 visa applications a day in the New York office - no matter how long the line. Anyway, this still isn't a done deal, but having them accept the application made us feel that it will most likely be approved.