Marco Polo was the most famous traveller of his time. His voyages began in 1271 with a visit to China, after which he served the Kubilai Khan on numerous diplomatic missions.
- On his return to the West, he was made a prisoner of war and met Rustichello of Pisa, with whom he collaborated on this book.
- The accounts of his travels provide a fascinating glimpse of the different societies he encountered: their religions, customs, ceremonies and way of life; on the spices and silks of the East; on precious gems, exotic vegetation and wild beasts.
- He tells the story of the holy shoemaker, the wicked caliph and the three kings, among a great many others, evoking a remote and long-vanished world with colour and immediacy.
- He found himself traversing the most exotic lands-from the dazzling Mongol empire to Tibet and Burma.
- This fascinating chronicle still serves as the most vivid depiction of the mysterious East in the Middle Ages.