In the year 1271 Marco Polo, age 17, set out from Venice with his father and uncle on a journey across Asia. Marco’s account of his 24-year odyssey would reveal a world never before described. Traveling by caravan, the Polos followed ancient trade routes through lands that still evoke Marco’s amazing finds. Though he revealed little of himself in his widely translated book, The Description of the World, Marco is idealized as a learned explorer on a mosaic in Genoa, Italy, pictured here. These photos and captions were published in a 2001 National Geographic magazine series on Marco Polo.

Mosaic of Marco Polo

In the year 1271 Marco Polo, age 17, set out from Venice with his father and uncle on a journey across Asia. Marco’s account of his 24-year odyssey would reveal a world never before described. Traveling by caravan, the Polos followed ancient trade routes through lands that still evoke Marco’s amazing finds. Though he revealed little of himself in his widely translated book, The Description of the World, Marco is idealized as a learned explorer on a mosaic in Genoa, Italy, pictured here. These photos and captions were published in a 2001 National Geographic magazine series on Marco Polo.
Photograph by Michael Yamashita

The Adventures of Marco Polo

See photos of sights along Marco Polo’s journey across Asia (including Iran, China, India, and more) in this travel photo gallery from National Geographic.

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