Giovanni da Verrazzano, an explorer from Italy born circa 1485 near Val di Greve, helped discover and chart New York City's harbor and parts of the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic coastline including Newfoundland and North and South Carolina. Although Italian, he sailed for King Francis I of France.
During Giovanni da Verrazzano's first expedition in 1524, he made landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina. He traveled south to Florida and then sailed back north exploring New York harbor and then settling near Newport, Rhode Island. His final voyage, in 1528, headed south towards Jamaica. He and a small group came ashore on an island in the Lesser Antilles, where natives attacked, killed and then ate him and the group.