In 2013, China launched the Belt and Road Initiative comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road. This visionary development strategy incorporates road and rail corridors and sea routes connecting over 60 countries across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe and East Africa. The scope is global and the motivation both historic and futuristic. The very name of the Silk Road conjures up images of exotic luxury goods and adventurous medieval travel, not least the journeys associated with Marco Polo. These two sessions will explore the history, 13th-century travels and tales of Marco Polo, and the inspiration of the famous Silk Road in the world of the 21st century.