Fact 2: When was Giovanni da Verrazzano born? He was born c.1485
Fact 3: His country of origin was Italy, but he sailed for the French
Fact 4: Where was Giovanni da Verrazzano born? He was born at Val di Greve, near Florence, Italy into the Italian nobility and was well educated in cartography, navigation, astronomy, mathematics and seamanship
Fact 5: In 1506, he settled in the port of Dieppe, France, where some of the best map makers of the Renaissance period were based, and began his career as a navigator. Dieppe was the home to other famous explorers such as Samuel de Champlain, Jean Ribault and Jacques Cartier
Fact 6: Through to his excellent connections with the Italian court, he was introduced to the court of France.
Fact 7: Giovanni da Verrazzano was engaged by King Francis I of France as a privateer, attacking ships belonging to the Portuguese and Spanish
Fact 8: During his period as a privateer (or pirate), in 1522, Giovanni da Verrazzano captured a Spanish treasure ship laden with gold
Fact 9: The Spanish treasure ship had been sent from Mexico, by Hernando Cortes, to King Charles V of Spain. The value of gold on the treasure ship was equivalent to two million dollars
Fact 10: The reputation of Giovanni da Verrazzano was recognised by the French and in 1523 he was commissioned by King Francis I of France to command a voyage of discovery to the New World to look for a new trade route to the Pacific Ocean
Fact 11: Giovanni da Verrazzano was directed to make plans to explore an area around Florida and in Terranova, the "New Land"
Fact 12: Giovanni da Verrazzano assembled a small fleet of 4 ships but two ships were damaged in storms and the two remaining ships were damaged forced to return to France
Fact 13: After repairs to the 2 ships, called La Dauphine and La Normande, the expedition started again 1524. Jacques Cartier was one of the men on the expedition.
Fact 14: Giovanni da Verrazzano ship was La Dauphine
Fact 15: The expedition reached the New World and Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the coast of North America including Cape Fear, New York Bay, the North Carolina coast, Maine and Nova Scotia
Fact 16: Giovanni da Verrazzano also discovered a "beautiful" harbor naming it Angouleme - which would later be called Manhattan.
Fact 17: Giovanni da Verrazzano set anchor in the straight between Staten Island and Long Island, where he received a canoe party of Lenape Native Indians.
Fact 18: He left the New World and returned to France to give an account of his findings and the potential of the new lands.
Fact 19: In 1527 Giovanni da Verrazzano made another voyage, which proved to be his last. His ship was captured by the Spanish.
Fact 20: Giovanni da Verrazzano was executed at Puerto del Pico, Spain November, 1527 for Piracy