Who has never dreamt of walking on water, rocked by the waves and admiring beautiful landscapes? Now you can, thanks to an extraordinary installation that will be on the Lake Iseo from June 18 to July 3: “The Floating Piers“. Imagine 70 thousand square meters of yellow and orange shimmering fabric, placed on the top of a modular floating dock system, manufactured using 200 thousand high-density poly-ethylene cubes. What you get is a really unique work of art, 4,5 km long: a system of 16 meters-walkways just above the water, undulating with the movement of waves. The walkway will go from Sulzano to Monte Isola, and to the island of St. Paul.
Visitors can walk the installation throughout its length, enjoying the extraordinary landscape of mountains and valleys of the provinces of Brescia and Bergamo surrounding Lake Iseo, a true Italian jewel. They can also hike in the mountains surrounding the lake, discovering unexpected angles of “The Floating Piers”. The artist who created this unique work of art is Christo, who has created more than 50 projects of Land Art – contemporary form of art characterized by the direct intervention by the artist on the territory. “The Floating Piers” project was created by the artist and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009. Until 18 September people will also be able to discover something more about this versatile artist through the exhibition at the Museum of Santa Giulia in Brescia, which will collect all the projects related to water by Christo and Jeanne Claude. In addition, there will be a documentary on the works at Lake Iseo.
Is there a better time for a weekend in this area?
The Christo walkway allows people to get on foot to some of the pearls that Lake Iseo offers. “The Floating Piers” starts from Sulzano, a fishing village, surrounded by elegant villas overlooking the lake. Here there are many paths that lead to high altitude panoramic places: for example, it’s possible to reach the sanctuary of S. Maria del Giogo, at 968 m of altitude. After crossing the lake with the walkway, you reach Monte Isola (in the dialect of Brescia Montisola), the largest lake island in Europe, where no cars are allowed and you can get around easily by bike (that can be hired in the city), to enjoy the views and medieval towers. The island houses 12 historic small cities, including the capital Siviano, Carzano, Senzano and others. Peschiera Maraglio, a picturesque fishing village, where it seems that time has stopped, is worth a visit. Here, you can discover everything about fishing, still one of the main activities of Montisola, which is full of historical shops that make fishing nets. There is also a fishing museum. At the highest point of the island, named Cure, you can visit the Sanctuary of Ceriola, where visitors get lost in a landscape that will leave everything speechless. On the island you can taste the home-made pasta topped with lake shrimps, the lake sardines, the perch fillets, and Montisola salami, together with Brescia Casoncelli and Trinca with baked polenta, sipping a glass of wine at sunset in one of the bars on the lake.
The other easily accessible paradise along “The Floating Piers” is the island of San Paolo, which houses the homonymous convent and is privately owned by the Beretta family. Once abandoned, the island was disputed for years by Iseo, Siviano and Peschiera, and in late 1091 the monks of Cluny built here a monastery. It seems that towards the end of 1800 the island was accessible on foot by Sensole with a footpath, walkable at certain times of the year: some parts of this road are still visible underwater.
Cover Photo Credits Lino Olmo Studio