The point of this book is absolutely nothing, and that is its beauty as well. Calvino might have easily escaped a lot of essays in his highschool, am sure.
Marco Polo who seems high af while visiting Kublai Khan, goes sycophant explaining all those imaginary cities he believes to have visited. All of them are exquisitely beautiful, eloquently expressed, named after madchens and never undergone any vicissitudes of life as such. There were many sumptuous cities with beautiful amorous girls throwing themselves at the travelers, and ones where inhabitants circled their home, work, wife when things got boring.
After listening to quite a few of his Utopian cities, the rather lethargic Mr. Khan, presumably high on the same stuff as Mr.Polo, goes on expressing Cities off his head, asking Mr.Polos confirmation on the existence of his imagination. Mr. Polo having already wared plenty of his punctilious imagination, at last succumbs to the existence of Mr. Khans creation, embellishing with details of his visit. At some point when he is asked of Venice, he says every city he explained is Venice, the beauty of which perplexes him. Also Calvino seems lost in his imagination, leaving some timeline anomalies which are least bothered to be expunged.
Mr. Polo goes all philosophical, maybe at the pinnacle of stuff moment, says everything he explained might be this town called Irene, which is different every time visited. Though this book feels like Ship of Theseus in its path to 55 cities, you find it hard to put down. This is like Prophet or Little Prince for knack-packers, and no matter how much you make fun of the whole thing, you are left gobsmacked by its invigorous grandeur.