Is Marco Polo from Korčula?
For quite some time (almost 450 years) Korčula was under Venetian Republic.
Marco Polo, who was not just world-famous explorer but also a merchant and a writer, lived in 13th and 14th century. He was the one who brought a lot of novelties from the Far East like gun powder, silk, pasta, ice cream recipe…
There are disputes about his birthplace between Venetians and people from Korčula. There is no clear evidence that he was born in Korčula but there is a record of Polo family living there. There is also a house of Polo family and some locals have variation of the last name “Polo”. What we do know for sure is that he was in the town of Korčula at the end of 13th century, in 1298 to be exact, when he was captured after one naval battle between Venetians (Polo was the captain one of Venetians ships) and Genoa. Genoa won the battle and Polo was imprisoned sharing his cell with Rustichelli to whom he was telling stories of his journey.
That was how we got one of the most translated books in the world: “Book of the Marvels of the World” (IL MIlione). When or if that dispute will be resolved is hard to say but for us Marco Polo was, is and will be the most famous son of Korčula.