Look back over 150 years of Italian history and you have long periods of rightwing rule, each followed by a short period of catastrophe and then by a reassertion of the right. Italy has never been the liberal Eden that progressive Europeans sometimes delude themselves into imagining it to be. It is actually a majority rightwing country. It is a much more corrupt, smut-driven, racist and lawless country than the middle-class tourists, armed with their EM Forster fantasies and seeing only what they want to see, imagine. Coccaglio is not merely a corrective to this. It is the way Italy is. Forget the Italy of Dante. Forget the Italy of Verdi. Forget the Italy of your fantasies. Welcome to the Italy that calls a raid on migrants Operation White Christmas, to the Italy that says the American president has a good sun tan – and to the Italy that then sniggers about it.