Rare and important early plan of Mexico City from Ramusio's Navigatione et viaggi .
With the exception of the image of Santo Domingo which accompanied Columbus' first letter, the earliest plan of any city in America is the Cortes map of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), which first appeared in 1524. Variant editions of the plan appeared in Bordone's Isolario, Munster's Cosmographia, Ramusio's Navigatione et viaggi, and Antoine du Pinet's Plantz, pourtraitz et descriptions de plusiueres villes et fortresses.
Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1485-1557) was an Italian geographer who worked within the Venetian Empire. His father had been a magistrate and he himself served as a civil servant to Venice. He served throughout Europe, allowing him to build up a network of informants and a collection of travel materials. He compiled this information into his enduring masterpiece, Navigationi et Viaggi, in 1550 (first volume) and 1556 (third volume). The second volume appeared after his death in 1559, as the original manuscript had been destroyed by a fire.