- NAME: Giovanni da Verrazzano
- OCCUPATION: Explorer
- BIRTH DATE: c. 1485
- DEATH DATE: 1528
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Val di Greve, Italy
- PLACE OF DEATH: Lesser Antilles
- Full Name: Giovanni da Verrazzano
- AKA: Giovanni da Verrazano
Best Known For
Giovanni da Verrazzano was an Italian explorer who chartered the Atlantic coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland, including New York Harbor in 1524. The Verrazano–Narrows Bridge in New York was named after him.
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He finally came to a rest at what is known today as Newport, Rhode Island. Verrazzano and his men interacted with the local population there for two weeks, before returning to France in July 1524.
In March 1528, Verrazzano left France on his final voyage, yet again seeking the passage to India (after not having found it via a South American voyage the year before). The expedition, which included Verrazzano’s brother, Girolamo, sailed along the coast of Florida before drifting into the Caribbean Sea. This turned out to me the last mistake the explorer would ever make.
While sailing south of Jamaica, the crew spotted a heavily vegetated, seemingly unpopulated island, and Verrazzano dropped anchor to explore it with a handful of crewmen. The group was soon attacked by a large assemblage of cannibalistic natives who killed them and ate them all as Girolamo and the rest of the crew watched from the main ship, unable to help.
Giovanni da Verrazzano added greatly to the knowledge base of mapmakers in terms of the geography of the East Coast of North America. In honor of the famed explorer, the bridge spanning the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island now bears his name.
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Throughout the centuries, brave explorers have fearlessly traveled the globe and beyond to discover new lands, people, animal species, riches and glory. Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal proved the world is round with his mission to sail around the world. His fellow countryman Vasco da Gama commanded the first European ship around the southern tip of Africa to reach India by sea. Norseman Leif Eriksson is regarded as the first European to reach North America, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the “New World” of the Americas. Juan Ponce de León scoured Puerto Rico and Florida in his quest for the fountain of youth. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark blazed new trails during their Corps of Discovery Expedition across the western half of the United States. Traveling to new heights of discovery were mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest, and U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon. These intrepid explorers and more have made an indelible mark on human history. See all Explorers.
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