He left his native city of Florence, in Tuscany, around 1414 CE in order to travel, mainly in the Aegean Islands. He visited Constantinople in the 1420s. He is the author of two historical-geographic works: the Descriptio insulae Cretae (1417, in collaboration with Niccolò Niccoli) and the Liber insularum Archipelagi (1420). These two books are a combination of geographical information and contemporary charts and sailing directions. The last one contains the oldest surviving map of Constantinople, and the only one which antedates the Ottoman conquest of the city in 1453.
While travelling over the island of Andros, he bought a Greek manuscript and brought back with him to Italy. This was the Hieroglyphica of Horapollo, which played a considerable role both in humanistic thinking and in art.
Liber insularum Arcipelagi, 16th-century manuscript. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Fonds latin.
- G. Gerola, "Le vedute di Costantinopoli di Cristoforo Buondelmonti," SBN 3 (1931): 247–79.
- Cristoforo Buondelmonti, Description of the Aegean and Other Islands at Google Books