Marco Polo is a researcher, travel writer and merchant, who became famous for recording his travels through China. Where exactly he was born has not yet been determined but it is indisputable that he was born in 1254 in the then Venetian Republic.
Marco's father Niccolò and uncle Matteo, enterprising merchants, embarked on their second trip to China in 1271, when Marko joined them. After a journey that lasted 3 years, they arrived at the court of Kublai-Khan, where Marko became his confidant and remained in his service for 17 years, traveling to many parts of the Far East, learning the languages and customs of different peoples.
According to history records, upon his return from China in 1298, Marco was captured at Korcula in a naval battle between Venice and Genoa, in which he participated as commander of a Venetian galley.
He allegedly dictated his memoirs to a certain Rustichello while he was in prison in Genoa in 1298.
Marco records various curiosities he encounters along the way, mentions a mountain in Armenia where Noah's Ark allegedly stopped, a tomb in Persia where sages who came to worship Jesus are supposedly buried, and the lands in the far north where there is a terrible cold and the night never ends. He is the first writer to mention oil in any literary work in the Western world. He discovers that the fire-resistant substance is by no means the wool of an animal but a mineral, asbestos, which is found in Xinjiang Uygur province. There are so many black stones burning, coal, in China that hot baths can be prepared every day. Wherever he goes, Marco reports on clothes, food and drink, especially the Mongolian drink made from fermented mare's milk, and the religious and magical rites of the people he encounters, the jobs they do, and the goods they sell. Something completely new to him was paper money, which was in use throughout the empire of the great henna.
Marco never expresses his thoughts, but only records what he sees or hears.
Marco was most likely released from prison in 1299, when Venice and Genoa made peace. He returned to Venice, where he married and had three daughters. He died there in 1324 at the age of 69.
Whether he was born or not in Korčula, then part of the Venetian Republic, does not prevent you from coming to discover his possible hometown and the gastronomy it offers, which would surely have tasted different if the great traveler had not brought the spices that marked the delicacies of our region.