chapter
Introduction
WithAnna Schober
Pages 17

1When after a long break a new episode of the popular series Commissario Montalbano (Inspector Montalbano, since 1999) was broadcast on the Italian state television channel Rai 1 in February 2019, about 11,108,000 Italians watched it. 1 One of them was the current interior minister and populist leader of the Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini. As proof, he photographed himself with a broad smile in front of the TV showing the picture of Montalbano, and sent this photo as a tweet 2 commented with “io adoro #Montalbano” (I love Montalbano). He thereby triggered a wave of polarising reactions on social media, as this episode, like earlier ones, also took up the issue of immigration: a long opening sequence showed a ship full of refugees off the Sicilian coast, close to Montalbano’s home, and his compassionate guidance in rescuing the ship’s occupants.