Giovanni da Verrazzano was an Italian navigator and the first European since the Viking and Norse sailors to explore the Atlantic Coast of the North American continent. His discoveries include New York Harbor and Narragansett Bay.
King Francis I of France commissioned Verrazzano to find a water passage to the Pacific and the Orient. On his first voyage, Verrazzano reached Cape Fear, North Carolina, then sailed along the North American coast to Newport, Rhode Island. It was on this voyage that Verrazzano discovered and explored the Chesapeake Bay, the Hudson River and New York Harbor, Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay.
Verrazzano made two more voyages to America. The moderate success of his second voyage led to a third trip that ended tragically. While exploring an island off the coast of the Bahamas and Lesser Antilles, Verrazzano and his party were killed and eaten by a group of Carib Indians.