Cultural Italy Blog: Art, Coffee & Love

The Number One Destination of 2016: “The Floating Piers” at Iseo Lake


Number One Destination of 2016: “The Floating Piers” at Iseo Lake

Walking on the water with Christo? Sure, and it’s not a joke. This summer Iseo Lake will host a unique installation designed by the Bulgarian-born and New-York-based artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff. Three kilometers of his striking yellow piers will link Sulzano, Montisola and San Paolo Island. It is better you come barefoot. The Italian summer is hot. The path is soft and smooth. And the waves will make this experience really dynamic. While being about 16 meters wide, piers will be walkable only in its central (8 meters wide) part. It is said, this temporary structure can host over 17,000 guests at a time, and anybody can come. Babies and their strollers are welcome too. About 200 keepers, 20 boats, divers and rescuers present day and night will guard your security and high spirit non-stop.

The Christo’s idea of “The Floating Piers” is dating back in 70’s. Originally it was invented for the delta of Rio de la Plata. Back then, however, its 200 meters long walkway was never realized because of the missing permission. Later, in 1995, the project, including two 150 meters of long docks, was reproposed for the Tokyo Bay and its artificial islands and again, the daring project did not pass the authorization stage.

Finally, 46 years later, works on “The Floating Piers” are in progress and are about to be completed in Italy. This time, however, Christo’s magic “yellow brick road“ counts not hundreds but thousands of meters in length. More precisely, 4.5 kilometers of routes in total spreading on water and on shores. Challenging, prominent and almost impossible!

Made of 200,000 m3 high density polyethylene, covered with 70,000 m2 of yellow iridescent canvas and surrounded by magnificent mountain landscape, this work of art costs about 10 million euro. But for us, visitors, it will be free and open 24 hours a day. But only from June 18 to July 3, 2016. A miracle indeed. 


Maria Novozhilova


twitter: @NovozhilovaM