In ancient times, envoys between China and Europe were numerous. Marco Polo was a star traveler among them. Today, the People's Daily sets off for Venice to explore his former place of residence.
After a four hour-plus journey from Rome on high-speed rail and water taxi, we find ourselves in a mottled and primitive building.
Marco Polo was born in Venice, an eastern coastal city of Italy. It served as a gateway to the riches of Asia during his era of increasing trade.
Goods flowed like water through the city. Ships from around the eastern Mediterranean docked in its port.
Marco Polo travelled along the old Silk Road, passing through many Asian cities before ending in China.
He had taken a huge step for his time in exchanges between civilizations and therefore embodies the close connections that Eastern and Western cultures still share.
In the past few decades, there has been a rapid growth in the number of Chinese travelers to Venice.
Chinese and Italians have a deep interest in each other's cultures, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, noting "Sino-Italian friendship is carried forward through our intensive cultural exchanges."
(Video produced by Xu Dan, Bai Yuanqi and Chen Lu; story by Bai Yuanqi)