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Marco Polo

History | 8-14 yrs | Interactive

Early Life

Marco Polo was born in Venice, Italy on September 15, 1254. He was well educated, and learned merchant subjects including foreign currency and the handling of cargo ships.

The Travels of Marco Polo

When he was 17 years old he traveled to Asia with his father and uncle.

He was one of the first Europeans to travel into Mongolia and China and became famous for his book that told the story of his travels along the Silk Route to China.

When traveling in Asia, he became a favorite of Kublai Khan, the Mongol Emperor. Marco Polo and his family were like assets to the Mongol Emperor as they knew four languages, and had accumulated a great deal of knowledge and experience that was useful to him.

Marco Polo roamed through China and Mongolia for 17 years. He traveled farther into China more than any other European ever had.

When the time came to go home, Kublai Khan declined the Polos’ request to leave China. However in 1292, when Khan’s great-nephew, the then ruler of Persia, sent representatives to China in search of a potential wife, they asked the Polos to accompany them, and therefore were permitted to return to Persia with the wedding party.

When Marco Polo returned to Venice, he became a popular storyteller. People gathered at his home to listen to the stories about his travels in the Far East.

His account of his travels called ‘The Travels of Marco Polo’ have captured readers throughout centuries. The book was recognized as the most important account of the world outside Europe that was available at that time.

The great explorer Christopher Columbus was greatly inspired by Polo’s description of the Far East to visit those lands himself.

Marco Polo upon returning to Venice became a wealthy merchant, married and had three children. In 1323, he was confined to bed due to illness, and breathed his last on January 9, 1324.


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