This essay analyzes some aspects of the ceremoniality of diplomats of "small" or "minor" states sent to important courts or meetings with many other diplomatic representatives. Starting from some recent reflections on the "new" history of political, cultural and diplomatic practice, the focus is on the opportunities available to representatives of "small" states within the framework of ceremonials that during early modern age were increasingly bound by rules. The concept of a "minor" state therefore appears useful for the analysis of the concrete instruments of these diplomatic figures - the ambassadors of the small states - who often did not have the status of ambassador in the European monarchies but only the one, of minor importance, of the envoy. Through the cases of the envoys of Genoa and Florence, the essay analyzes the strategies put in place by these negotiators, often very skilled but with little tools, to acquire spaces of relationship and negotiation, balancing, when possible, the tender for the acquisition of a good position in ceremonial meetings with the need to find places and opportunities for negotiation and compromise.
Keywords: Ceremonial; "minor" States; Diplomatic practice; Florence; Genoa; Spain.