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The Marco Polo Plaza is located in the Italian Concession in the Hebei District of Tianjin. This area was the only Italian concession in modern China, and the only concession Italy has ever held overseas. The plaza opened on June 7, 1902, occupying an area of 771 mu. Sitting near the Tianjin Railway Station, it neighbors the Haihe River to the south and Jingshan Railway to the north.
The 2200-square-meter Marco Polo Plaza is at the center of the Italian Concession (now known as “Italian Historic District”). It is also at the junction of the previous Marco Polo Road (now Minzu Road) and the Dante Road (now Ziyou Road), and was first built in the last century as part of the planning of Italian Concession.
In June 1902 (the 28th year under the reign of Guangxu Emperor of Qing Dynasty), the Italian Envoy, Count Giovanni Gallina, signed an agreement with the then Customs Head of Tianjin, Tang Shaoyi, for construction of a perfectly dynamic Italian plaza as well as residential buildings with gardens that lasted for eight years from 1908 to 1916.