The Secret Mission of Verrazano
The man who would convince the king of France to search for Arcadia was Giovanni da Verrazano. He was born into a wealthy Italian family at Val di Greve near Florence in 1485. The Castle Verrazano is built on the foundation of a Roman structure that in turn was built on the foundation of an Etruscan structure, dating to possibly 500 B.C.
Florence from the eleventh century on was a center of commerce for banking and for the wool and silk industry. About one-third of the citizens were in the cloth industry. For all the turmoil caused by Medici maneuvering, Florence was clearly a...