Welcome to the Marco Polo Network!


Marco Polo Network

1. Ports’ Network
Thanks to “Cammini d’Europa” and its network of relations along various cultural itineraries in the Mediterranean, the Marco Polo Network Committee will develop a series of possible routes between the ports of the High Adriatic, along both shores, to Greece (Port of Piraeus) and Istanbul.
This network, which appears as a natural Follow Up of the Verotour project, aims to create tourist products linked to all types of sailing: cruising, pleasure, sailing, small cabotage for discovering rivers, inlets and lagoons.

2. Network of Unesco Sites
Thanks to “Mirabilia”, the international network of Chambers of Commerce of the Unesco Cities, the Marco Polo Network Committee will develop a true network of Unesco Sites of the Silk Road, which could find its headquarters in Ferrara (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, and center of a path (today also cycling) of over 400 kilometers that connects the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian Sea linking the two largest silk production centers in Italy since the 14th century: Venice and Lucca).

3. Safeguard and development of the Villages
From ports, there will be a series of routes to the interior of each territory aimed at the valorization of so many villages rich in heritage and historic and monumental property often not adequately promoted.
This is a further step in support of the creation of the UNESCO network, where – in the creation of individual local marketing systems – new excellences could be discovered and brought to UNESCO’s attention.
This action is guaranteed by the presence of the CERS – Consortium of European Reenactment Societies.

4. Travel Literature and cultural platform
Thanks to the Italian Geographic Society, which was the engine of the 750th anniversary of the birth of Marco Polo which served under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic and with the patronage Of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, it could be established a specific Scientific Committee.


The main goal of the Western Silk Road project is to create a recognizable tourist product, characterized by the ability to develop and manage:

1. a network of ports for the development of maritime tourism, not only cruise;

2. a network of villages, thus encouraging the development of new or emerging destinations that integrate the existing touristic offer which will be properly branded in order to stimulate investment aimed at developing tourism in the various territories involved in the project;

3. an Unesco network that connects tangible and intangible heritage;

4. a cultural network as further development of what has already been done on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the birth of Marco Polo;

5. An integrated system of promotion of local food and wine excellence, with particular attention to the Spice sector;

6. Two international appointments dedicated to:

  • Tour Operators: Western Silk Expo (International Trade Fair along the Western Route of the Silk Road)
  • Large audience of potential users: Western Silk Fest (International Festival of Cultures and Flavors)


Marco Polo Network

In autumn 2015, a concept proposal of “Silk Road Connectivity (in case of EU-China Connectivity Platform)” was discussed by Natureherit with DG Move and UNESCO before the COP21. After two years of further preparation, based on various stakeholder and sector talks, idea exchanges with European Commission, European Travel Commission (ETC), European national and regional tourism …


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