Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini hit back on Thursday after the Maltese government expressed "disdain and surprise at the inaccurate allegations" it said were made by him over the management of asylum seekers.
Salvini is the leader of the right-wing League party, one of the two in Italy's ruling coalition.
Salvini's meeting later with Polish ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is being watched as an early sign of whether the Italian firebrand can effectively mount a nationalist challenge at the European level.
However, Poland's skepticism of Salvini's friendly approach to Russian Federation could be an impediment to collaboration.
A leading commentator for the Rzeczpospolita daily, Michal Szuldrzynski, said he believed that Salvini heard more about what divides the League and Law and Justice than what unites them during the visit.
"We are preparing a new equilibrium and new energy in Europe and Poland and Italy, absolutely, will lead this new European spring", Salvini said in the Polish capital Warsaw, adding that "we have a new plan for Europe" meant to replace the dominant "French-German axis".
PiS spokeswoman Beata Mazurek said on Twitter that talks between Salvini and Kaczynski, "opened the way for further contacts on speeding up the development of European Union countries and providing the European Union with an appropriate and strong position on a global scale".
All three leaders - Orban, Kaczynski and Salvini - say they want to keep out migrants to preserve Europe's Christian heritage and protect their citizens' security.
"The Polish-Italian or Warsaw-Rome axis is one of the greatest developments with which the year could have started, so I have great hopes for this", Orban said.
The vote could see nationalist and far-right parties across Europe upset the bloc's balance of power now dominated by the centre-right.
At present, Salvini is allied to a small group of far-right parties such as Marine Le Pen's National Rally in France and the anti-Islam Freedom Party in the Netherlands.
"There should not be this different treatment by Brussels", Morawiecki said, adding that "so with Mr Salvini we are on the same page with regards to many European matters".
His aim, Salvini said, is to build "a common alliance of who wants to save Europe".