Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1485 – 1528 *** Full Name : Giovanni da Verrazzano *** Occupation: Italian Explorer *** Date of Birth: Giovanni da Verrazzano was born in 1485, the exact date is unknown *** Place of Birth: Giovanni da Verrazzano was born in Val di Greve, Republic of Florence, Italy *** Family background: His father was Piero Andrea di Bernardo da Verrazzano and his mother was Fiammetta Cappelli *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Italy *** Education: Giovanni da Verrazzano may have received an education but there are no records to prove this ***
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 1: Giovanni da Verrazzano was born in 1485 and during the 15th century period in history when Portugal and Spain were exploring the oceans of the world and colonizing new lands.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 2: From 1506 onwards Giovanni da Verrazzano lived and settled in Dieppe a port in France.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 3: It is believed that his career began in Dieppe, primarily as a navigator.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 4: In 1508 Giovanni da Verrazzano set sail for the first time for the coast of America aboard La Pensee with Thomas Aubert as her captain. The ship was owned and outfitted by Jean Ango, a privateer who provided ships for the King of France to explore the world.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 5: Verrazzano was able to explore the area of Newfoundland as well as St Lawrence river in Canada by way of a fishing vessel.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 6: In 1523 the King of France, Francis I, wished Verrazzano to set out to explore the region between Terranova and Florida. The goal was to locate a sea passage to the Pacific Ocean. Trade competition was rife, particularly with Portugal and French financiers and merchants were always on the lookout for new trade opportunities.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 7: Four ships would originally set out for the Grand Banks of Newfoundland but due to terrible weather conditions two ships would be lost and two remaining received damage severe enough to force their return to Brittany.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 8: By 1523 the repairs had been completed and they again set sail for the continent of North America.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 9: Their course set for a southerly route was under Portuguese and Spanish control which made the journey more perilous.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 10: Both ships dropped anchor in Madeira, but Los Angeles Normande would be forced to return to her home port due to complications but Los Angeles Dauphine, captained by Antoine de Conflans continued with their journey on January the 17th of 1524. Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 17: The next venture of Giovanni da Verrazzano would be with financial backing from Jean Ango once again and Philippe de Chabot and again a further four ships departed Dieppe in 1527. Near Cape Verde they encountered gale force weather and one ship was separated from the group. Verrazzano landed on the coast of Brazil where he took on a cargo of brazilwood and headed back to France.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 11: Their journey took them towards Cape Fear on 1st March and they continued on to Pamlica Sound lagoon which is modern day North Carolina.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 12: Verrazzano wrote to Francis I and said that he was sure that the Sound was the start of the Pacific Ocean and he believed the gateway to gaining access to China via the ocean passage.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 13: They would continue their journey North where they would come into contact with coastal tribes of Native Americans.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 14: Continuing North they failed to see the entrances to Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 15: As Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed into the New York Bay and saw what looked to be a large lake but on later exploration would in fact be the entrance to the Hudson River. They travelled further North towards modern day Maine and they south easterly taking them to Nova Scotia and on to Newfoundland.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 16: Once the reached Newfoundland they began their return journey to France and reached port on July 8th 1524.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 18: Having still been unsuccessful in his finding of the elusive passage Giovanni da Verrazzano set out again on his third exploration trip from Dieppe in 1528.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 19: Giovanni da Verrazzano explored Florida as well as the Bahamas and on to the Lesser Antilles. Anchoring off of the coast of what is thought to be Guadeloupe, they dropped anchor and rowed ashore.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Fact 20: With the ships too far out of gunshot range, there was nothing the crew to could do to prevent the death of Giovanni da Verrazzano and his being attacked and killed by the local native inhabitants. Giovanni da Verrazzano was approximately forty-three years of age at his death.
Influence & Legacy: Although Giovanni da Verrazzano made important discoveries the timing of it being within that particular three years period coincided with the Conquest of Mexico as well as Ferdinand Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe and unfortunately these events eclipsed Verrazano's accomplishments.