The relationship between Macron and the last Italian government was marked by mutual animosity and a lack of common ground. The main point of contention between the two governments was the issue of migration, specifically recent waves of migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
Under the previous interior minister and Lega's leader, Matteo Salvini, Italy adopted a restrictionist migration policy, closing its ports to migrant-carrying vessels, prosecuting members of non-governmental organisations that specialised on picking up migrant boats stranded in the Mediterranean, accusing them of human trafficking, which prompted criticism from the French president.
Salvini, in return, accused Macron of trying to impose his will on Italy, lambasting his migration initiatives, including a joint Franco-German plan to resettle incoming migrants throughout the European Union.
Since Salvini's tenure as interior minister is over due to a recent change in Italy's political landscape, there is an opportunity to mend relations between the two countries, which is what this visit will likely be about.