The exact time and place of Marco Polo's birth are unknown, and current
theories are mostly conjectural. One possible place of birth is Venice's
former contrada, which is often presented by historians as the birthplace, and it is generally accepted that Marco Polo was born in the Venetian Republic with most biographers pointing towards Venice itself as Marco Polo's home town. Some biographers suggest that Polo was born in Curzola today known as Korčula in present-day Croatia however there is no proof to this claim. The most quoted specific date of Polo's birth is somewhere "around 1254".His father Niccolò was a merchant who traded with the Middle East, becoming wealthy and achieving great prestige. Niccolò and his brother Maffeo set off on a trading voyage, before Marco was born.