Verrazano, Giovanni da (jōvänˈnē dä vĕrˌrätsäˈnō; vĕrˌəzäˈnō) [key], c.1480–1527?, Italian navigator and explorer, in the service of France, possibly the first European to enter New York Bay. Sailing west to reach Asia, Verrazano explored (1524) the North American coast probably from North Carolina to Maine. In 1526, or later, sailing from France, he explored the West Indies, where he was killed by the natives. Based on his discoveries, his brother Gerolamo's maps (1529) showed a new concept of North America. The name is sometimes spelled Verrazzano.
See L. C. Wroth, The Voyages of Giovanni da Verrazzano (1970).