After Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci was the most important navigator and explorer of all time, so much so as to deserve the esteem not only of his contemporary geographers, but also that of historians like Francesco Guicciardini who, in one of the most important chapters of his history of Italy, raised him to the rank of protagonist of universal history. The originality of this collection - bringing together for the first time all known letters of Amerigo Vespucci - consists in having considered (and demonstrated) the special nature of such correspondence as a “chronicle” of the daily life of Renaissance Tuscany and Florence, deeply marked by Humanism, with its taste, lifestyle, ideas, interests (including geographical interests), creations (printed books and their typographical workshops) from which Vespucci drew many suggestions. Once he moved first to Seville and then to Lisbon, Vespucci gained a new human experience that pushed him, following the mysteries of the Atlantic Ocean, in search of the “fame” suggested to him by the humanistic culture. After the “wonder” of the New World discovered, the result of this “intellectual chemistry” moved him to recount daily life on the Spanish and Portuguese caravels, and to describe with ethnological passion the new lands and their inhabitants in a unique and unrepeatable frame in the history of humanity.
University of Florence, Italy