We were just talking about the Medici's on the other thread, and it just reminded me of one of my favorite series: The Stravaganza-trilogy, that consists of four books (very common nowadays...
It plays in a different version of Italy, and it's just beautiful! I mean, Mary Hoffman made up such a story which shows a bit of history, but mainly just sucks us into this amazing world...
It's witty, charming and touching at the same time. I love those books!
(Now that I think of it - I think I'm going to reread them