Marco Polo was born in 1254 to a Venetian merchant family. In 1271, he joined his father for a journey to China, which his father had already visited once. The two spent the next twenty years on travels in the service of Kublai Khan, the Mongol ruler of China. They returned to Italy in 1292. Imprisoned in 1298, Marco met a romance writer named Rusticello, who helped Marco write an account of his travels to China. He is known for The Travels of Marco Polo.