Marco Polo
Marco Polo (ˈmɑrkoʊ ˈpoʊloʊ; ˈmarko ˈpɔːlo; c. 1254 – January 9, 1324) was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 whose travels are recorded in Il Milione
The Travels of Marco Polo
Books of the Marvels of the World or Description of the World , also nicknamed Il Milione or Oriente Poliano and commonly called The Travels of Marco Polo, is a 13th-century travelogue written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo, describing the...

, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo
Niccolò and Maffeo Polo
Niccolò and Maffeo Polo were the father and uncle respectively of Marco Polo, the Venetian explorer. Before the birth of Marco, the two became merchants, and established trading posts in Constantinople, Sudak in the Crimea, and in a western part of the Mongol Empire...

, travelled through Asia and apparently met Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan , born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu , was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China...

. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time.