Giovanni da Verrazano

Imagine growing up in your family's own castle. Your family lives in the beautiful land around Florence during the Italian Renaissance. You can imagine all sorts of possibilities for your future career because you are surrounded by people with amazing careers themselves. Artists, scientists, architects, and many more imaginative people from Florence are already making names for themselves.

Giovanni da Verrazano grew up in just that situation. His family included prosperous merchants and bankers, and Giovanni received a good education. From all of the possibilities available, he chose the field of navigation for his future career.

In 1507, he moved to Dieppe, where he could pursue a seafaring life. Soon, he was sailing the Mediterranean Sea.

Verrazano must have gained the reputation of being a good leader aboard ship, because in 1524, King Francis I of France chose him to lead an expedition across the Atlantic Ocean. King Francis wanted a navigator who might be able to find a sea route all the way to China and the East Indies.

Soon, Verrazano was making plans for his voyage. He had four ships and enough sailors to man them. He laid in supplies of food - enough to last eight months - and supplies of ammunition. Seafaring was a dangerous job in those days.

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