Visconte Maggiolo

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1527 map by Visconte Maggiolo showing the east coast of North America with "Tera Florida" at the top and "Lavoradore" (Labrador) at the bottom. The information supposedly[1] came from Giovanni da Verrazzano's voyage in 1524 (Ambrosian Library in Milan, Italy.)

Visconte Maggiolo (1478 – 1530), also spelled Maiollo and Maiolo, was an Italian cartographer and sailor.

He was born in Genoa and maybe he was a fellow sailor of explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano. Some historians say that he died of malaria in 1530; but archival documents show that he was still alive, in Genoa, at least in 1549, although he certainly was already dead in 1561 (Astengo, 2007, p. 72).

In 1527, he created a map depicting Verrazzano's travels. This map had a major error (so-called "Verrazzano Sea" with his "Verrazzano Isthmus", as Giovanni did not accurately describe the North American continent. This error was not to be fixed for over a century.

A copy of his map was destroyed during World War II. “Sixteenth Century Maps Destroyed in War. It has been learned with much regret that the manuscript world chart of Vesconte de Maiollo, 1527, in the Ambrosiana Library and Art Gallery in Milan, Italy, (the Biblioteca Ambrosiana)was lost through war damage. A number of libraries, including the American Geographical Society Library at UW Milwaukee, have a full size reproduction of the famous map that was issued in 1905 by the Hispanic Society of America."[2]

There are other world maps made by Vesconte Maggiolo: one, by a private collector, is known to scholars for years (Astengo, 2007, p. 73: 14: “Vesconte de maiollo [SIC] composuit hanc cartam In Janua anno dominy 1531 die VIII novembri: planisfero nautico, proprietà privata”) is dated Genoa, 1531; another kept at a public library in Treviso (in Italian), is dated Genoa, 1549.

External links[edit]


  • Navigazione e carte nautiche nei secoli XIII-XVI, Genova, SAGEP, 1983.
  • Corradino Astengo, Der genuesische Kartograph V. M. und sein Werk, in ‘’Cartographica Helvetica’’, 1996, n. 13, pp. 9-17.
  • Corradino Astengo, ‘’La cartografia nautica mediterranea dei secoli XVI e XVII’’, Genova 2000, pp. 80-88 e 149-192.
  • Corradino Astengo, ‘’The Renaissance Chart Tradition in the Mediterranean’’, in ‘’The History of Cartography, Volume Three (Part 1): Cartography in the European Renaissance’’, Edited by David Woodward, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2007, pp. 174-262.
  • Corradino Astengo, ‘’Vesconte Maggiolo (alias Vesconte de Maiolo, Vesconte de Maiollo)’’, in Cartografi in Liguria (secoli XIV-XIX) a cura di Massimo Quaini, Genova, Brigati, 2007, pp. 72-75.


  1. ^ 16h Century Pennsylvania Maps
  2. ^ “Geographical News.” 1951. The Geographical Review. Volume XLI (1), January 1951, page 167.