SONETTI, Bartolommeo Dalli. Isolario, Venice 1485, With an Introduction by Frederick R. Goff, Amsterdam, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, MCMLXXII [=1972].
The author of this work was a Venetian sailor called Bartolomeo – his full name was probably Bartolomeo Zamberti or, according to other sources, Bartolomeo Turco, friend of Leonardo da Vinci. He is the creator of the first printed collection of island navigation maps (isolaria). This isolario includes wood engravings showing maps of the islands, accompanied by commentaries on geography, history and archaeology of each place in the form of sonnets, a habitual practice in geographical works of the 14th and 15th centuries. In the opening verses, the author calls his work “Periplous Nisson” [Circumnavigation of the islands]. It was first published in 1485 and republished in 1532.
Bartolomeo, who after this edition became known as Bartolomeo dalli Sonetti, made about fifteen journeys to the Aegean islands .Although his work borrows many features by Cr. Buondelmonti's pioneering isolario in manuscript, it is one of the first printed isolaria destined to practical usage, in order to help sailors in their voyages. The maps show reefs and other perilous spots. The sonnets are written in a lively vernacular, and render place names according to contemporary pronouncation, as opposed to their archaic forms. At the same time, they are marked by an inclination towards lyricism and the influence of Virgil and Dante.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou