Famous Italian Explorers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Italian Explorers

 1 Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus.
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: October 31, 1451
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: May 20, 1506

An Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, wanted to discover a direct water route from Europe to Asia. In his four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain, however, what he ended up discovering was not Asia, but America. Though he was not the first one to land in America, his historical journey began what eventually turned into Spanish colonization of America.

 2 Marco Polo

Marco Polo.
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: 1254 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: January 8, 1324

Marco Polo was a Venetian explorer, writer, and merchant. He explored Asia along the Silk Road and is credited with providing the Europeans with descriptions of the culture of the Eastern world, which remained unknown until his exploration. Polo's travel book inspired other travelers like Christopher Columbus. His writings also influenced European cartography, which led to the Fra Mauro map.

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 3 Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci.
Famous As: Discoverer of South America
Birthdate: March 9, 1454
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Florence
Died: February 22, 1512

Amerigo Vespucci was a merchant, navigator, and explorer. Credited with participating in two major voyages of the Age of Discovery, Vespucci's claim that the New World represented a new continent inspired cartographers to associate the name America (a Latinized form of his first name) to the newly discovered continents.

 4 John Cabot

John Cabot.
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: 1450 AD
Birthplace: Castiglione Chiavarese, Republic of Genoa
Died: 1508 AD
Italian explorer and navigator John Cabot is remembered for his 1497 voyage to the North American coast, commissioned by Henry VII of England, which is the earliest-known European voyage to coastal North America since the Norse explorations. A lot of statues and towers have been erected in his honor.

 5 Giovanni da Verrazzano

Giovanni da Verrazzano.
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Greve in Chianti
Died: 1528 AD
Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to explore the areas along the North American coast, including what is now known as Hudson Bay. In fact, Henry Hudson reached the same area almost 85 years later and was hailed as its explorer, while Verrazzano’s exploits were practically unknown.

 6 Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner
Famous As: Explorer, Politician, Writer, Mountaineer
Birthdate: September 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brixen

 7 Antonio Pigafetta

Antonio Pigafetta
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: 1491 AD
Birthplace: Vicenza, Italy
Died: 1531 AD
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 8 Andrea Doria

Andrea Doria
Famous As: Condottiero
Birthdate: November 30, 1466
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oneglia
Died: November 25, 1560

 9 Giovanni Battista Belzoni

Giovanni Battista Belzoni
Famous As: Explorer, Antiquarian, Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Novelist, Travel writer
Birthdate: November 5, 1778
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Padua
Died: December 3, 1823

 10 Walter Bonatti

Walter Bonatti
Famous As: Mountaineer, Explorer, Photographer, Mountain guide, Writer, Journalist
Birthdate: June 22, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bergamo
Died: September 13, 2011

Walter Bonatti was an Italian explorer, mountain climber, and journalist. He made a solo climb of a new route on the southwest pillar of the Aiguille du Dru in August 1955, among other achievements. He retired from mountaineering at the age of 35 and pursued a career as a reporter. He also wrote several books on mountaineering.    

 11 Eusebio Kino

Eusebio Kino
Famous As: Jesuit, Missionary, Geographer, Explorer, Cartographer & Astronomer
Birthdate: August 10, 1645
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bishopric of Trent
Died: March 15, 1711

 12 Achille Compagnoni

Achille Compagnoni
Famous As: Explorer, Biathlete, Ski mountaineer
Birthdate: September 26, 1914
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Province of Sondrio
Died: May 13, 2009

 13 Niccolò de' Conti

Niccolò de' Conti
Famous As: Merchant
Birthdate: 1395 AD
Birthplace: Chioggia, Italy
Died: 1469 AD

 14 Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi

Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: January 29, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: March 18, 1933

 15 Giovanni da Pian del Carpine

Giovanni da Pian del Carpine
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: 1185 AD
Birthplace: Magione, Italy
Died: August 1, 1252

 16 Umberto Nobile

Umberto Nobile
Famous As: Explorer, Aerospace engineer, Politician, Military personnel
Birthdate: January 21, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Naples
Died: July 30, 1978

 17 Odoric of Pordenone

Odoric of Pordenone
Famous As: Missionary
Birthdate: 1286 AD
Birthplace: Pordenone, Italy
Died: January 14, 1331

 18 Henri de Tonti

Henri de Tonti
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: 1649 AD
Birthplace: Gaeta, Italy
Died: September 1, 1704

 19 Lodovico de Varthema

Lodovico de Varthema
Famous As: Traveler
Birthdate: 1470 AD
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: 1517 AD

 20 Alvise Cadamosto

Alvise Cadamosto
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: 1432 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 18, 1488

 21 Pietro della Valle

Pietro della Valle
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: April 2, 1586
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: April 21, 1652

 22 Ardito Desio

Ardito Desio
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: April 18, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Palmanova, Italy
Died: December 12, 2001

 23 Giovanni de' Marignolli

Giovanni de' Marignolli
Famous As: Explorers
Birthdate: 1290 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: 1360 AD

 24 Luigi Robecchi-Bricchetti

Luigi Robecchi-Bricchetti
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: May 21, 1855
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pavia, Italy
Died: May 31, 1926

 25 Romolo Gessi

Romolo Gessi
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: April 30, 1831
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ravenna, Italy
Died: April 30, 1881

 26 Pellegrino Matteucci

Pellegrino Matteucci
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: October 12, 1850
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ravenna, Italy
Died: August 8, 1881

 27 Carlo Piaggia

Carlo Piaggia
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: January 4, 1827
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lucca, Italy
Died: January 17, 1882