Giovanni da Verrazano was an Italian explorer. While many know of his accomplishments, not many people are aware that he was a pirate prior to becoming an explorer. Although an Italian by birth, Giovanni da Verrazzano did not embark on any voyage or exploration sanctioned by his king. Instead, he plundered wealth from his ransacking of ships across the Atlantic and the Mediterranean for the French King and it was King Francis I who commissioned the French expeditions helmed by Giovanni da Verrazzano. Here are some Giovanni da Verrazzano major accomplishments.
1. Claimed to be Born in Florentine.
The authenticity of that claim has not been vetted. It is also disputed if he was born in 1485. However, it is accepted that he may have been born somewhere around Florence if not in the city. Verrazzano was a notorious pirate. Although it cannot be hailed as an accomplishment, still you cannot ignore the fact that he managed to amass as much as two million dollars worth of gold after sacking Spanish ships. He had routinely targeted Spanish and Portuguese ships.
2. Became a Go to Man for King Francis I.
Giovanni da Verrazzano became the go-to man for King Francis I after the British, Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish made steadfast gains during the age of discovery. King Francis I was not as psyched about finding a sea route to India as Christopher Columbus but he did want to find a route to the Pacific Ocean, primarily to find riches. Verrazzano was the man he could trust. Verrazano was commissioned to lead an exploration across the Atlantic. Verrazzano did not manage to find any route to the Pacific Ocean or Asia for that matter but he did manage to find Cape Fear. Being the smart man that he was who was as pragmatic as an optimist, Verrazzano continued to explore present day North Carolina and east coast of the New World, present day North America. Verrazzano found Block Island, reached Narragansett Bay and also explored New York Harbor. He was the first one to reach the harbor of New York.
3. Did Not Stop at the Harbor.
He sailed further in and up the Hudson River. Giovanni da Verrazzano actually predated Henry Hudson’s exploration of the harbor and Hudson River by at least eighty years. One could say that Hudson River should not be so named if the original or the first explorer had to be honored.