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An amazing fact you didn’t know about Marco Polo

He was NOT the first European to travel to China and he did NOT bring pasta back to Venice

Despite what you may think, Polo wasn’t the first European to travel to China.

In the 1240s, the Franciscan monk Giovanni da Pian del Carpini went there, gaining an audience with the Great Kahn of the Mongol empire.

Some other Catholic emissaries reached China, including William of Rubruck, and as mentioned above, his uncle and father.

Even though Polo was not the first, he was definitely the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience for posterity.

He did not bring pasta back to Venice from China but pasta was largely and already present in the Italian culinary tradition long before his birth.

Marco Polo introduced the concept of paper money, which was largely used in Mongolia during the thirteenth century.