Stop the presses! ‘Verrazano’ is spelled correctly!

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge no longer accepting cash payments
Cashed out: The city rolled out cashless tolling on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on July 8.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

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 Streetsblog.org, a cycling, pedestrian, and transit-oriented website.

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