This is a very handy edition of the book of a sixteenth-century Italian traveler who visited Cumaná, the Gulf of Paria, Puerto Rico, Hispañola, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Yucatán, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Perú, Guayaquil, and Quito, among other named places. The book is reproduced in facsimile from the edition of 1572 with a very useful introduction in German by Anders. The introduction gives the bibliography of other editions of the work, an outline of the contents by folio number, and a short biography of Benzoni.
Benzoni’s text is a combination of personal observation—his travels were mainly in the Caribbean, Tierra Firma, Yucatán, Central America, and Greater Peru—and the use of available works by other authors. Illustrations are contemporary woodcuts of little documentary or artistic value in contrast with the text, which is an important, if little used, source and an eyewitness account of large areas of sixteenth-century Spanish America.