From April 6 to September 29, 2024, the Doge's Palace in Venice will host an exhibition honoring Marco Polo, who died 700 years ago. The exhibition, entitled ‘Marco Polo’s Worlds’ will center on the growth of Venice as a major trading metropolis in the 1300s. You will be able to follow the main stages of the illustrious explorer and trader's voyage to Asia, tracing his interactions with various ethnicities, languages, and religious beliefs. There will be a whole section devoted to his novel, ‘Il Milione’The book, a huge aid to the cartographers of the day in updating their knowledge of the new land and sea routes, was already a bestseller at the time of its publication.
After a protracted voyage to Asia, Marco Polo's merchant father and uncle arrived back in Venice when he was fifteen years old. Marco accompanied the two brothers on their 1271 expedition, having been captivated by their tales, when they decided to revisit those same locations.
The Polo family traveled by land and sea, making several stops before returning to the Great Khan's court, reaching well-known cities such as Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand. They first traveled to Acre in 1272 and then moved on to Anatolia, Armenia, and Iran before arriving in China. One of their hardest tasks was to traverse the Gobi Desert and the Pamir Chain.
During his time at the Mongol monarch ‘Kublai Khan's court, Marco Polo participated in a number of diplomatic missions. He had the opportunity to see some incredible locations and discover other cultures. He was able to return to Venice and depart the Khanate thanks to one of those expeditions.
After coming back to Venice, he was imprisoned in Curzola and was incarcerated. He met Rustichello da Pisa, and dictated him his memories of his travels to Asia. The book's title, 'The Description of the World,' alludes to its exhaustive portrayal of the Asian nations, cities, and people that the explorer had experienced. As it turned out, the book was an accurate depiction of the locations visited, complete with pertinent information about the times between locations, the safety of the routes taken, the type of government in place, the languages and faiths of the local people, the food consumed by them, the currencies they used, etc.
The novelty of this book and its capacity to showcase the various worlds that Marco Polo explored were crucial to its success, especially at a period when fifteen thousand kilometers round trip were unthinkable.