Christo Will Let You Walk on Water in Italy

Christo Will Let You Walk on Water in Italy

Big news for art lovers! This summer, world renowned artist Christo will unveil his newest installation- floating walkways covering Lake Iseo. The “Floating Piers” will be on view from June 18 to July 3, 2016, weather permitting.

Lake Iseo is located in northern Italy, close to its more famous neighbors Lake Como and Lake Garda. With the upcoming Christo opening, this lesser known lake is set to garner international attention.

The project entails creating floating piers lined with bright yellow fabric, to create a walkway around the lake, joining the lake islands with the mainland. Visible from the mountain range above, the walkways will circle the island of Monte Isola, Italy's largest lake island, and the smaller San Paolo, before continuing into the mainland town of Sulzano. The fabric will continue onto pedestrian streets in two of the mainland towns.

Visitors will literally be able to “walk on water” atop hundreds of thousands of fabric-lined floatable cubes stretching for nearly two miles.

Christo floating piers

Earlier this year in Rome, “The Floating Piers,” project was presented by Christo and Italian art critic and curator Germano Celant. During a press conference at Maxxi, Italy’s national contemporary art museum, Christo commented that crossing the walkways “will be a very sexy experience, for the fabric follows the movement of the waves.”

The Bulgarian born visionary raised 10 million euros (about $11 million) to fund the project, noting that he was unsure what the final costs would be. He explained that he tried, unsuccessfully, to pursue the walkway project in both Argentina and Japan. With the help of Celent, he was able to procure the necessary permits to complete the project in the Lombardy region of Italy.

The 79-year-old artist has delivered several monumental projects around the world, using his signature style of massive scale installations. Along with his wife, Jeanne-Claude who passed away in 2009, he has already created several projects in Italy, including the “Wrapped Fountain and ‎Wrapped Medieval Tower” in Spoleto (1968), several “Wrapped Monuments” in Milan (1970), and a wrapped Roman wall (1974).

The power couple is internationally recognized for their project "The Gates" in New York's Central Park (2005), and the wrapping of the Reichstag (1995), among others. The Gates project was comprised of 7,503 vinyl "gates," namely panels of saffron colored nylon fabric, installed along 23 miles (37 km) of pathways in NYC's most famous Park.

This summer’s project bears a close resemblance to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 1983 project in Miami. The “Surrounded Islands” consisted of 11 small islets in Biscayne Bay, Miami wrapped in hot pink fabric that floated atop the water. If you are lucky enough to be in Italy this June, don’t miss the opportunity to check out Christo’s project on Lake Iseo. Whether you are traveling with a large group or on romantic couples retreat, this exhibit is worth a trip to the Italian Lakes. Let the Italian Concierge take you there!

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Guest Sunday, 17 February 2019

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