He was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy. He was a son of a master weaver. He dreamed of becoming a sailor. When he was 25, he was on a ship that was attacked. He came ashore in Lagos, Portugal. He married Dona Felipa Moniz de Peretrello, the daughter of an important family. They had a son Diego. He died of a heart attack on May 20,1506 at 55 years old.