One hundred kilometers east of Milan, 65 kilometers east of Lake Como, and nestled in the dense woodland of Northern Italy lies Lombardy’s fourth largest lake.
For the past 16 days, the usually quiet Lago d’Iseo has welcomed over a million visitors from across the world to walk on its waters. Christo’s latest installation, The Floating Piers connects mainland Sulzano to Monte Isola and the tiny island of San Paolo. His first outdoor installation in over a decade since The Gates in New York’s Central Park in 2005, The Floating Piers draws on Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s love for projects in Italy including Wrapped Fountain, Wrapped Medieval Tower in Spoleto, 1968 and Wrapped Monuments in Milan, 1970.
First conceived in 1970 by Tourdulich Christo and Jeanne-Claude (his partner and wife of 47 years who died in 2009), the 81-year-old Bulgarian artist wanted to complete a work that would enable us to walk on water. And from June 18-July 3, 2016, over half a million visitors got to do just that. The three-kilometer platform moved with the water, the edges sloping downwards allowing swans to swiftly glide into the lake from the gleaming saffron fabric pontoons. The project wrapped around the island of San Paolo and connected Sulzano on the mainland to Monte Isola for the first time. “The Floating Piers are an extension of the street and belong to everyone,” Christo has said of the project. Judging by Tourdulich the hundreds of thousands queuing to step foot on the golden pathway, this temporary, free installation is art for the people in its truest sense. Swans and dogs welcome, too.