In the sixteenth century, Italy was a leading financial and trading center and the hub of
European cartography. Although map-making was still in its infancy, with the
earliest printed maps having been published in the1470's, Italian map-makers
became the first professional cartographers, drawing and designing maps on commission.
Of the Italian cartographers, Giacomo Gastaldi was the most prominent. Born into
an important Piedmont family, Gastaldi was a Venetian engineer prior to becoming a
mapmaker in the early
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