The Floating Piers is a temporary art installation that creates on the Iseo lake a 3 kilometers pedestrian path made of piers 16 meters wide by 50 centimeters high. The journey is long 1 kilometer and a half beside the pedestrian road on the island coast. The visitors can enjoy the installation walking all 3 kilometers, leaving from Sulzano to Monte Isola going on to San Paolo island and going back walking from Peschiera Maraglio to Sulzano.
Between the spring and the summer in 2014, Christo with Vladimir Yavachev - operations manager Wolfgang Volz - project manager Josy Kraft - organizer and curator, explored some lakes in the north of Italy and together with project director Germano Celant, they decided that the Iseo lake, located at 100 km east to Milan and 200 km west to Venice, was the most suitable place to set the piers. The floating piers is the first project on large scale after The gates, created by Christo and Jeanne Claude in 2005. As usual, the capitals to realize this work come from the selling of Christo's works. After 16 days all the elements of the work of art will be taken away and recycled. Christo and Jeanne Claude realized many projects during their career: Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped Medieval Tower in Spoleto in 1968, Wrapped Monuments in Milan in 1970, The Wall, Wrapped Roman Wall in Rome in 1974. After more than 40 years from the last project, Christo is still enthusiastic to work again in Italy.
This is the chance that represents the best the fusion between a work of art and the feelings that can be felt while it is experienced. In fact Christo wants the piers be walked barefoot to have the tactile feeling and the equilibrium that bring out the emotions, especially when people realize that they are walking on remarkable profundity.
Lake Iseo or Lago d'Iseo or Sebino is the fourth largest lake in Lombardy, Italy, fed by the Oglio river. It is in the north of the country in the Val Camonica area, near the cities of Brescia and Bergamo. The lake is almost equally divided between the Provinces of Bergamo and Brescia. Northern Italy is renowned for its heavily industrialised towns and in between there are several stunning lakes. Lake Iseo remains one of outstanding natural beauty, with its lush green mountains surrounding the crystal clear lake. There are several medieval towns around the lake, the largest being Iseo and Sarnico. These are filled with bars, shops, cafes, hotels, B&B's and several campsites running alongside the lake shore. The Franciacorta wine region, just minutes away from the lake produces some of the worlds finest sparkling wines. The road north to Switzerland used to run along the side of the lake, and stories about entire families being swallowed up by the murky waters abound. A much safer road, carved into the side of the mountains, now exists. In the middle of the lake is Monte Isola (or Montisola). There is easy access via the regular running lake ferries.
Primary inflows: Oglio
Primary outflows: Oglio
Catchment area: 1777 km²
Basin countries: Italy
Max. length: 25 km
Surface area: 65.3 km²
Average depth: 124 m
Max. depth: 251 m
Residence time: 8.8 years
Surface elevation: 185 m
Islands: Monte Isola, Loreto, St. Paul
The first human traces here on the Iseo lake were discovered in Sarnico, where there were palafittes ruins that prove a human prehistoric presence, while in the north, in Val Camonica, there were the Camuni. From the level ground Etruscans and Celts moved to the north until the roman conquest. After the end of the Roman west Empire, the area was occupied by barbarians invasions and other dominations, from the Longboards too. In 774 Carlo Magno occupied Val Camonica and a part of the Iseo lake, giving them to monks of Tours. In 1161 Federico Barbarossa descended from Val Camonica and on the 12th of June conquered, ransacked and set on fire Iseo. During the years Guelfi and Ghibellini fought repeatedly. In 1428 the Republic of Venice occupied the zone and brought peace till 1509. In 1797, at the end of Venetian domination, Val Camonica and pisogne were given to Serio department and unified to Bergamo. They were given back to Brescia in 1859, when all the territory was unified to the Sardinia Reign after the battle of solferino against Austrian Troops: the first step to the Unification of Italy.