Delaware history: Italian explorer deserves more than a modest Rehoboth monument

Jan 26, 2020 647

BY: Michael Morgan

The monument, a short, white square column with two round medallions, sits next to the Rehoboth boardwalk near the end of Olive Avenue. Sponsored by the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture and erected over a decade ago, the monument honors the explorer, Giovanni de Verrazzano, who justly warrants recognition for his exploration of the Mid-Atlantic coast.

Verrazzano, however, may not have laid eyes on this stretch of the Delaware coast, and he definitely never set foot on the Rehoboth sand. “We reached a new country,” Giovanni da Verrazzano (sometimes spelled Verrazano) wrote in 1524, when the Italian explorer first saw the barrier islands along the North American coast.

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