Christopher Columbus' birthplace was Italy, but his famous trip across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492 departed from Spain. Born in 1451 in the seaport city of Genoa, Italy, Columbus became actively involved in the sailing industry after completing his education.
Columbus was working as a mapmaker in Portugal when he proposed a new overseas route to the Orient. In 1483, he pitched the idea to Portugal, but it was not accepted. Undeterred, Columbus presented his plan to the rulers of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella. They approved the plan for Columbus' voyage. The Italian-born Columbus sailed for Spain when he discovered the New World.