In a quiet corner of Venice ,the Venetian palace (palazzo) believed to be explorer Marco Polo’s former residence is easy to miss. Stop by Corte Seconda del Milion, a square named for Marco Polo's travel memoirs, Il Milione, to honor Italy's most famous adventurer while visiting the Floating City.
Marco Polo's House (Casa di Marco Polo), near San Giovanni Crisostomo Church and behind Teatro Malibran, isn’t open to the public, but there’s a small marble plaque on the wall commemorating its importance. The house, which faces a small triangular patch of sidewalk next to a canal in the Corte Seconda del Milion, can be quite difficult to find. Walk through a passageway (sottoportego) that cuts through what would be a building’s ground floor to reach it.
Marco Polo's House is best visited as part of a Venice walking tour or guided tour of nearby highlights, including Piazza San Marco and St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, and the Rialto Bridge. The building is set on one of Venice's quiet internal canals not far from the Grand Canal, so it can also be seen during a gondola ride through the city. Being near to the Rialto market, it’s an easy stop on Venice street food tours that include a walk through the market stalls and surrounding neighborhood.
Things to Know Before You Go
- If exploring Venice on a walking tour, wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunscreen.
- The sidewalk facing the palace is accessible to wheelchairs, if approaching from the Cannaregio side; from the Castello side, there is a small bridge with stairs to cross the canal.
- Though you can’t tour inside the palace, its facade and surrounding neighborhood are particularly picturesque, so be sure to bring your camera.
- This is a memorable stop for history buffs.
How to Get There
Marco Polo's House is located on Calle Scaleta, on the border between the Castello and Cannaregio neighborhoods. Reach the building on foot from St. Mark's Square or the Rialto Bridge, or by water taxi from the Grand Canal.
When to Get There
Marco Polo’ house is one of Venice's quieter sights, located in a sleepy quarter of the city center. If you need a respite from the crowds during busy midday hours, this is a good spot to choose.
The Marco Polo House Plaque
The plaque marking is in Italian; the English translation reads: “Here was once the home of Marco Polo, who traveled to the furthest reaches of Asia and described his journeys. Placed by city decree in 1881.”