Thanks for your note and suggestions. My wife received a Fulbright Scholarship, which requires he to return and live in Italy for 2 years before she can adjust her status. Even through we were married in the U.S. and Italy 8 years ago, this 2 year obligation takes precedence and we were advised to apply for adjustment of status while she was still in Italy (ultimately working through the Consulate in Naples).
Your suggestion to apply at the US Embassy might work for others (we have friends who have done this, too!), but the Embassy in Rome would not allow me to work through them. They told me to work through U.S. and that the US would work through the Embassy in Naples.
On and on....this will work itself out. We're nearing the end of the process, but it's grindingly slow.
your situation is really frustrating.....being separated from your family for so long. My input is why your wife and family don't enter the US and applied from here for a change of status....it's going to delay the process even further probably but at least you will be together...
From my experience and from what i have heard, the faster way to get your spouse here is to marry in Italy and apply to the US Embassy as an American citizen resident in Italy.