July 30, 2018 / Brooklyn news / Bay Ridge / The Greatest Story Ever

Gersh Kuntzman investigates: The Shocking truth about the spelling of ‘Verrazano’


Stop the presses! ‘Verrazano’ is spelled correctly!

Spell check: Our columnist thinks this sign has it right.
Brooklyn Paper
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The state’s plan to spend millions to add a “z” to signs for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is actually a complete waste of money.

According to officials at Castello di Verrazzano — the ancestral home (and vineyard!) of explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano — the family name was spelled with only one “z” in the 15th century.

The information is confirmed on the estate’s website which states that the Brooklyn to Staten Island span “bears the name of Verrazano (one zeta), according to the XV Century spelling.”

But this reporter needed more proof, so I took a brief sojourn from a fortnight of pasta and gelato in Tuscany to visit the vineyard myself. I asked an employee whether New York State should add a “z” to every road sign for the bridge and she suggested no.

“They are both right,” she told me, declining to give her last name as she hurriedly set up a wine tasting to which I had oddly not been invited.

The full interview, a deeper analysis of the “z” scandal, more local reaction, and a gripping insight into my recent vacation, is in the attached video report.


Gersh Kuntzman is now editor-in-chief at, a cycling, pedestrian, and transit-oriented website.

Updated 10:52 am, July 30, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

MJ from Bay Ridge says:
Give the Z as Thank you to Doctor Zizmor.
July 30, 2018, 8:39 am
Cheryl from West Brighton near Coney Island says:
Save the money, keep the spelling. Millions of people over many decades have already spelled Verrazano as it is and apparently as its namesake himself and his family did when he was still in the physical world. In my opinion, it is just perfect as it is.
July 30, 2018, 8:51 am
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
Even one person who advocated for any change like this could make a major impact on all of us.
July 30, 2018, 10:54 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Never mind this nonsense. Just rename the bridge after Anerica’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani.
July 30, 2018, 11:36 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Henry - they only use public monies to rename things after Democrats.
July 30, 2018, 12:31 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Ah yes I forgot, Rufus.
July 30, 2018, 12:59 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Yep... Giuliani had a great 4 months there.
July 30, 2018, 1:01 pm
Michael says:
He called himself Janus Verazzanus when signing documents, and Jehan de Verrazane in his will.
July 31, 2018, 8:39 am
Michael says:
He called himself Janus Verazzanus when signing documents, and Jehan de Verrazane in his will.
July 31, 2018, 8:39 am
Rob from NY says:
Bring back the two-way toll, and while they're at it, pass the MOVE-NY Fair Toll Plan. End this ridiculous campaign for an extra Z; we've got bigger problems.
July 31, 2018, 9:45 am
Dave from NJ says:
The Bridge was named after the Italian Explorer, Verrazzano. THAT is how is SHOULD be spelled! End of story!
July 31, 2018, 10:46 am
Midge from Mill Basin says:
Kill Henry Ford and Rufus Leaking and save money.
July 31, 2018, 11:20 am
Gary from Fort Greene says:
It seems that the guy was a great explorer but couldn't spell worth diddly. Neither could Shakspear.
July 31, 2018, 1:07 pm
Magnus The Explorer from Bay Ridge says:
Forget the Z. Just rename the bridge for the guy who found America Leif Erickson! And Erickson is easier to spell than Verrazzano.
Aug. 1, 2018, 3:05 pm

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