During the three centuries that marked the Renaissance, the region produced myriad great artworks, including Leonardo da Vinci’s the Mona Lisa. In literature, meanwhile, the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is among the works that are famous even now. And in science, the Polish thinker Nicolaus Copernicus first posited a model of the universe with the Sun at its center.
But this cultural revolution didn’t stop at the Italian Peninsula’s borders; instead, the Renaissance spread rapidly across Europe. And it wasn’t just art and science that were changing; exploration also began in earnest too. Christopher Columbus – the man claimed to have discovered America – was one of a number of Renaissance-era explorers, for example.