The epic journey that changed history
First voyage around the world is a window into the past, an opportunity to explore and understand the courage and perseverance of those men who opened new doors for maritime exploration and trade around the world. In addition, you will learn about the scientific and geographical discoveries that emerged from this historic expedition.
The First Voyage Around the World narrates the historical expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan and completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano. In 1519, they left Spain with five ships in search of a route to the Spice Islands in the east.
The search for a route to the Spice Islands refers to the explorations and voyages carried out in the sixteenth century with the aim of finding a more direct sea route from Europe to the islands of Southeast Asia, especially the Maluku Islands, or ‘spice islands’.
It should be noted that, at that time, spices such as pepper, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon were highly valued in Europe for their aromatic properties and their use in cooking, medicine and perfumery. However, the existing land routes to obtain these spices from Asia were dangerous, which greatly increased their price.
Therefore, European explorers and traders, such as Ferdinand Magellan, sought a sea route that would allow them direct access to the spice islands, avoiding intermediaries and opening up new commercial opportunities. This led to significant expeditions and discoveries, including this first voyage around the world, in an attempt to find that more direct and safe route to the rich spice lands.
Although Magellan died in an engagement in the Philippines in 1521, his crew managed to complete the circumnavigation of the globe in 1522, under the command of Juan Sebastián Elcano. This historical voyage proved that the Earth was round and opened new trade and exploratory routes, expanding the limits of geographical and maritime knowledge of the time.
The chronicler of this great adventure was Antonio Pigafetta, Italian sailor who accompanied Magellan in this exciting feat.
Pigafetta joined Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition in 1519, and played the role of chronicler of the expedition, meticulously recording events and discoveries along the voyage.
Witness to an odyssey without limits
During the journey, Pigafetta observed and described the lands, the customs of the indigenous peoples and the encounters with diverse cultures along the way. His detailed account provides valuable insight into the expedition and is considered one of the most important sources on the first voyage around the world.
After completing the circumnavigation of the globe in 1522, Pigafetta returned to Italy. He used his notes and diaries to write a comprehensive account of the expedition, entitled First Voyage Around the World , which became a seminal historical work. It contributed greatly to our understanding of this remarkable maritime feat and continues to be studied and valued today.