Thursday, April 17, 2014

First Italian to See New York

It was on this day in 1524 that the intrepid explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, a native of Florence employed by the French King Francis I, reached New York harbor on his voyage of discovery. This was the first European voyage to reach the northeast coast of North America since the time of the Viking excursions of the Dark Ages. Sailing across the Atlantic, the expedition first reached the coast of what is now the state of North Carolina before turning north and continuing up along the coastline to New York harbor and finally going on to visit the coast of what is now the state of Massachusetts before returning to Europe. Today there is a very large Italian-American population in New York and a few other places in New England but the first Italian came to New York was Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524, blazing a trail for all the others to follow.

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