The Veronica Franco depicted in the film was a real person. She was born in 1546 and died in 1591, at the age of forty-five. She was the most famous courtesan in Italy, but she was also famous for her satire and for her poetry.
The alternate title for this movie, "The Honest Courtesan", comes from the term 'cortigiana onesta' which denoted a courtesan who, while sex may or may not have been part of her obligations, was paid mainly to be a companion for intellectual stimulation and/or her poetic or musical talent.
During King Henry's visit, a monk is forcibly detained in an attempt to give Henry a paper. In reality, King Henry III was killed exactly so: a monk, under the subterfuge of giving Henry a private message, fatally stabbed him while whispering in his ear.