Giovanni da Verrazano was a Florentine explorer and navigator. Although he was Italian, he was employed by the kind of France to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean. The exact date of his birth and death are not known, but historians believe that he was born in 1480, and he died in 1528. In 1524, he started on a voyage and discovered Cape Fear.
He is believed to have been the first European to sight the New York Bay, but it was not explored until Henry Hudson’s voyage in 1609. Verrazono also explored the North Carolina coast and he visited the Chesapeake region and then northward to Nova Scotia. In fact, he explored much of the American coast line. When Giovanni was 39, he explored more of the coast, sailing his 100-ton ship Dauphine for the French. While on this mission, he discovered a “beautiful” harbor in April and gave the name Angouleme to the island that will later be called Manhattan. But Giovanni wasn’t flawless. While he was still on this journey, he mistook the large body of water to the west of the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the Pacific Ocean. A map by Sebastian Munster shows the false “Sea of Verrazano.”
His voyages affected all men because he discovered some important lands that are vital to us today, such as Manhattan. If he had not discovered these expanses, maybe someone else who had different intentions would have found them, and then our whole American history would be different. He could have burned the lands and sold them to Australians, but he didn’t. He was responsible, and returned to the King of France with pride. He set a good example for our present day explorers. We may not be searching for new lands, but there is always a new frontier to be explored. There is not a lot written about Giovanni’s personal life and his personality, but from what I have read, he seemed to be an adventurous individual who just wanted to explore and discover new lands. He may be overlooked in most of the history books, but without him, America might not be what she is today. His discoveries are so important because they paved the way for future explorations. He sighted many places, and then other explorers came after him and finished his explorations. He opened a lot of doors for other men, and he does not get the credit that he deserves. He discovered over seven areas that are part of our present day America in one trip!
There are many things that we can learn from Giovanni da Verrazano. One is that you should not be afraid to try new things and to look for new adventures. Another is that you should always keep going. Once you find what you are looking for, don’t stop there. Keep looking for more ways to improve your life and other lives. There will always be doors to open. Like Giovanni, you just need to know where to look.
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