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    About Silk Road

    'The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future' travels east to west along this ancient trade route, exploring how traditional culture, arts, and trade have developed in the 21st century. Beginning in China, and ending in northern Italy, the journey will focus on a different country each month. More about CNN's Special Reports Policy.

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      China

      Home of the People's Republic

      CNN Silk Road takes you to China #CNNTravel

      Our journey begins in China, exploring the ancient art of silk-making and its development today. We start from the mulberry tree orchards of Hangzhou province and then shift focus to China's new booming business, profiling the country's multimillion dollar internet company, Alibaba. Finally the team delves -- quite literally -- into the famous tomb of Tang Dynasty emperor Qin Shi Huangdi and his terracotta army of 2,000 warriors, speaking to the archaeologists using 21st century technology to uncover the secrets of this sophisticated civilization.

      Kazakhstan

      A postmodern wonderland

      CNN Silk Road takes you to Kazakhstan #CNNTravel

      We take a ride on Kazakhstan's trains, speaking to the operators investing $40 billion into the country's railways in the next few years. Hopping off at the capital Astana, we admire the city's futuristic architectural delights -- also soon to be home to central Asia's tallest skyscraper. Long gone are the camel caravans of centuries ago and where once the old Silk Road routes stood, the government now hopes to build a superhighway stretching over 5,000 miles -- cutting the time of trade shipments to Europe by more than half.

      Oman

      A sultanate of opportunity

      CNN Silk Road takes you to Oman #CNNTravel

      Our next destination is Oman, the strategically-positioned sultanate whose arid desert attracts ultra-marathon runner Dean Karnazes. He tells us how it feels to run 135 miles in 130F heat -- "like a devil holding a blowtorch in your face", to be precise. Cool off at the magical rainforest oasis that springs up in the sand, where thirsty camels sip from inviting green waters. Finally we trace the changing face of Omani travel, exploring the making of ancient wooden dhows before taking a tour at Oman Air -- the airline with sky-high ambitions.

      UAE

      A country of towering ambition

      CNN Silk Road takes you to UAE #CNNTravel

      Our next destination is the UAE, where the seven united emirates have become a beacon for tourism and trade in the Middle East. We explore one of the country's more unusual ventures -- the production of camel milk for salty, creamy and lower fat ice cream. We then visited Dubai, one of the world's most glamorous cities, to steal style tips from the women leading its fashion pack. Dubai also boasts a booming art scene, which draws collectors from across the region to snap up future masterpieces.

      Georgia

      A crossroad of cultures

      CNN Silk Road takes you to Georgia #CNNTravel

      We journey on to Georgia, a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia that is rapidly becoming a burgeoning holiday destination. First we visit Kakheti, the country's luscious wine-producing region to find out why so many consider Georgia to be the world's cradle of wine. Next we explore the fascinating reasons driving tourists to this Eurasian melting pot, from the eclectic capital of Tbilisi to the mysterious cave cities embedded high in Georgia's mountains.

      Norway

      A Kingdom of natural resources

      CNN Silk Road takes you to Norway #CNNTravel

      Venturing to the furthest reaches of the Silk Road, our journey continues to Scandinavia, where we reveal the Vikings' astonishing connections with the East. First we delve into history, using modern technology to explore the Vikings' incredible trading prowess and influence. Next we profile a true gem of this route; the 'Gold of the North' for which demand is higher than ever before. We leave Norway by quizzing World No. 1 chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen -- taking your questions to one of the world's greatest minds.

      Turkey

      A Eurasian republic

      CNN Silk Road takes you to Turkey #CNNTravel

      Our journey continues to Turkey, an ancient Eurasian land that served as a bridge for Silk Road merchants crossing into Europe. Today, exports play a vital role in Turkey's economy -- we visit a leader in the country's automobile industry that produces a car every 55 seconds. A smaller firm is reviving Turkey's trade links with China through an increasingly popular product -- natural olive oil soap. Finally we peek into the glamorous world of Istanbul's soap opera houses, creating lavish dramas that fetch lucrative deals abroad.

      Italy

      A Mediterranean peninsula

      CNN Silk Road takes you to Italy #CNNTravel

      Our Silk Road adventure concludes in Italy, a lush and diverse peninsula whose maritime position made it a wealthy gateway for trade between East and West. We explore Venice, the historic port of merchants and explorers that is now harnessing modern technology to hold back the waters. We journey north to Lake Como to discover the region's enduring silk industry, prolific in the 19th century and still favored by top fashion houses today. Envious of our cross-continental journey? Live it vicariously through a list of the Silk Road's most inspiring Instagram accounts -- perhaps you'll book an adventure of your own.