The Floating Piers is an art project that will take place for 16 days starting June 18, on Italy’s tiny Lake Iseo. The public will be able to walk for nearly two miles on water, thanks to 200,000 floatable cubes covered in glittering, dahlia-yellow fabric fashioned from tightly woven nylon.
Lake Iseo is perhaps the least known of Italy’s northern lakes, an idyllic spot with two small islands not yet overrun with tourists (unlike Lake Como, known for celebrity residents like George Clooney and Robert Pattinson). To Christo, Lake Iseo also offers a storybook landscape. “It has beautiful small villages and houses and churches and Roman ruins. To go to the mainland, residents go by traghetto,” he said, using the Italian word for a small boat or ferry. “The Floating Piers ” will connect the islands to each other and to the mainland. “You will be able to walk the entire area,” Christo explained. The project will also be visible from the surrounding mountains. As the light changes throughout the day, the view of the piers will change, too, from deep yellow to shimmering gold to a reddish hue when wet.
Mr. Celant, the project director of the Floating Piers helped Christo get the necessary approvals. Scientists, structural engineers and divers, along with teams of construction workers, have been involved in the Piers creation, floating a section with the covered fabric on a lake in Germany last year to see how they would look. In February, Christo tested the structural integrity of the piers for wind and wave heights by placing sections in the Black Sea. Starting in December, divers will place 140 five-ton anchors up to 300 feet deep in Lake Iseo. Right now, about one million square feet of fabric is being specially woven in a factory in Germany. The president of the lake, Giuseppe Faccanoni, helped the artist to get the permissions in less than a year, which is in opposition to the past works from Christo. He’s particularly connected to Italy, and that’s why he was very happy to work on this project.
The artist suggests to walk barefoot on the walkway, strollers and wheelchairs are permitted, while heels are strictly forbidden. The best about it is that you can dive from the walkway for swimming!
If you’re coming from Bergamo it just takes forty minutes by car, or even by bus. Alternatively, you can catch the train from Bergamo Railway Station, which leaves every thirty minutes (more or less).
For the occasion you can use the “Treno Blu”, part of the initiative involving some historic trains – diesel and steam trains – that come back to travel on railroad after 30 years of abandon. Departures from Milan, Bergamo and Palazzolo. If you are going to arrive in Orio al Serio Ariport and you want to book one night stay, we recommend Fleur de Lis B&B, a comfortable solution in every way.