Le Ultime dallo Stivale


April 25th, 2024 – Eleonora Corradi

Although Verrazzano never found the passage to Cathay, his 1800 km navigation along the Atlantic coast was of great importance as it helped to strengthen the belief that the New World was a real continent and provided crucial information for the cartography of the time.
Moreover, although Verrazano was not the first European navigator to reach the coasts of North America, he was certainly the first to explore the area later occupied by the colonies that formed the first nucleus of today’s United States, and particularly New York Bay.
Despite all this, for a long time Verrazzano did not receive the recognition he was due, to the advantage of the English explorer Henry Hudson, who only reached the American coast in 1609, i.e. a good 85 years after him, on behalf of the Dutch who then founded New Amsterdam, the direct ancestor of New York.
It was only centuries later that the figure of Verrazano was rediscovered and brought back into the limelight, so much so that in 1964 the city of New York decided to dedicate to him the bridge that connects Brooklyn to Staten Island and stands right at the mouth of the bay, the place of his first anchorage.

Commemoration of 500 years since the landing of Giovanni da Verrazzano.

In Greve in Chianti and New York, Verrazzano Day is celebrated every year on April 17, usually quietly and without much media resonance. This year, however, on the 500th anniversary, a rich program of initiatives has been prepared to celebrate the greatness of this Renaissance man. For the occasion, there will also be a presentation of the recently published biography of Verrazzano, written by Marco Hagge, in which Verrazzano is rediscovered as a “courageous traveler, curious geographer, enterprising and determined sailor and explorer with outstanding human qualities”.
The planned events will take place between Florence and New York, involving both sides of the Atlantic and thus reinforcing the cultural bridge between Italy and the United States.



In the construction contract for the bridge dedicated to Verrazzano, a typo was made, and the official name was written with only one ‘Z’, a typo that remained in all official documents and inscriptions for a long time.

It wasn’t until half a century later, in 2018, that a university student of Italian descent launched an online petition and collected thousands of signatures asking the state of New York to pass a law adding the missing ‘Z’. The law passed , but since changing all the names and all the signs would have been too expensive, it was decided to start replacing only the damaged signs, so that at the moment both spellings are visible.



SALPARE = levare l’ancora, sciogliere gli ormeggi e partire. To lift anchor, untie the moorings and set sail.

La spedizione di Verrazzano è salpata da Dieppe.

Verrazano’s expedition set sail from Dieppe.

LA CARAVELLA = piccolo veliero introdotto intorno al 1451 dai portoghesi. Small sailing ship introduced around 1451 by the Portuguese.

Le violente tempeste ridussero la flotta di Verrazzano a una sola caravella.

Violent storms reduced Verrazano’s fleet to a single caravel.

APPRODARE = giungere a riva. To come ashore.

La caravella di Verrazzano approdò sulle coste americane dopo un viaggio di molte settimane.

Verrazano’s caravel came ashore on the American coast after a voyage of many weeks.


Eleonora Corradi

Eleonora Corradi

Nata e cresciuta a Milano, ha studiato e lavorato a Milano (dove ha ottenuto il suo PhD), Londra, Grenoble, Berna, Parigi e New York; attualmente si occupa di traduzioni tecniche e di insegnamento dell’italiano come seconda lingua.
È autrice e traduttrice di numerosi articoli scientifici pubblicati su riviste specializzate e ha collaborato alla stesura di testi per La Settimana Enigmistica e per pubblicazioni di scuole internazionali.
Da quasi venti anni insegna italiano agli stranieri e negli ultimi sette ha lavorato presso Collina Italiana. Durante le sue lezioni, ama arricchire la didattica della lingua e della grammatica con la lettura di articoli, libri, fumetti e brevi testi, al fine di far conoscere ai suoi studenti la cultura, le tradizioni e le espressioni tipicamente italiane, utilizzando anche giochi e curiosità sulla lingua, l’origine e gli usi delle parole.

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