It's said that Christopher Columbus stayed here while awaiting ship repairs in 1492. There's also the theory that Christopher Columbus was from Portugal. bdsklo/iStock via Getty Images PlusItalians have long claimed Christopher Columbus as one of their own, but not everyone is in agreement about the explorer’s birthplace. An illustration of Christopher Columbus at the court of Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II. A Norse settlement discovered in Newfoundland, Canada, points to European journeys in North America that predate Christopher Columbus.