Frenchman Mr Moscovici hit out at Italy’s new hardline stance on immigration, which has seen it refuse to let migrant rescue boats dock in its ports.
Italy even sparked an emergency EU summit with leaders trying to come up with a solution on how to deal with the crisis – and who should take them in.
Italy has particularly taken aim at France, with the pair exchanging attacks on their policies, and Rome demanding Paris takes in its migrants.
Mr Moscovici said at a press conference in Paris yesterday: “Fortunately there is no sound of jackboots, there is no Hitler, (but maybe there are) small Mussolini's. That remains to be seen.”
Matteo Salvini, leader of anti-immigration party Lega, which formed a coalition with anti-establishment party Five Star Movement (Ms5), said in a statement: “He should wash his mouth out before insulting Italy, the Italians and their legitimate government.
“EU Commissioner Moscovici, instead of censuring his France that rejects immigrants has bombed Libya and has broken European budget parameters, attacks Italy and talks about ‘many little Mussolini’ around Europe.”
Luigi di Maio, head of Five Star Movement and Deputy Prime Minister, fired back at the Commissioner, saying: “The attitude from some European commissioners is unacceptable, really intolerable.
“They dare to say that in Italy there are many little Mussolinis, and that should not be permitted. This shows how these people are totally divorced from reality.
“Our government has the strongest popular support of any in Europe yet this is how we are treated by European commissioners, who within six to eight months will probably no longer have jobs.
“At the next European elections, citizens are going to kick out a good part of the establishment.”
Mr Moscovici also criticised Italy’s spending, saying Rome needed to cut wasteful spending and prioritise investment and infrastructure spending to stimulate growth and productivity.
His comments come as Italy drastically increased public spending to go on promised tax cuts, pension reforms and a guaranteed minimum income that could cost Italy up to €28 billion.