The "wars of Italy" represent an important period of transition for European history. The opposition between France and Spain determines the oscillating alignments of the aristocracy, which also involve the dynasties of the States of "non-Spanish" Italy. The matrimonial strategies of the nobility move in a large horizon, intertwining lineages of Central-Northern Italy with feudal families of the Kingdom of Naples. The story of Antonia del Balzo and her daughter Dorotea Gonzaga is the expression of a formal and informal power. In addition to the typical female orientation of family choices, they show firmness and attitude to the command related to the exercise of a concrete authority.
Keywords: Sixteenth-century Transition; Italian Peninsula; Noblewomen; Public Authority; Informal Power.