In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazzano became the first European to enter New York Harbor. Today, across the Narrows entrance to this harbor, stands a monumental bridge named in honor of the Italian explorer. It is the longest suspension bridge in all of the Americas, longer than the Golden Gate Bridge. Most Americans know it well.
While this bridge should be a source of pride to all Italian-Americans, it has become, instead, a grating annoyance to many – a "bridgegrate." Since its opening in 1964, the name of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has displayed a dreadful spelling error. Verrazzano is properly spelled with two z's.