Marco Emilio Polo (September 15, 1254 – January 8–9, 1324) was a Venetian merchant, explorer and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295. His travels are recorded in The Travels of Marco Polo (also known as Book of the Marvels of the World and Il Milione, c. 1300), a book that described to Europeans the then mysterious culture and inner workings of the Eastern world, including the wealth and great size of the Mongol Empire and China in the Yuan Dynasty, giving their first comprehensive look into China, Persia, India, Japan and other Asian cities and countries.
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- Non ho scritto neppure la metà delle cose che ho visto.
- I have not told half of what I saw.
- On his death-bed, when urged to retract "some of the seemingly incredible statements he made in his book", as quoted in The travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian (J. M. Dent, 1926), p. xxiv. Quote in Italian from Imago mundi seu Chronica (c. 1330) by Jacopo d'Acqui, as reported in the bibliographic note to Marco Polo: Storia del mercante che capì la Cina (2009) by Vito Bianchi.
- Io parlo parlo ... ma chi m'ascolta ritiene solo le parole che aspetta. ... Chi comanda al racconto non è la voce: è l'orecchio.