Floating art lets people walk on water at Italy’s Lake Iseo

CNN  — 

Thanks to a pop-up art installation made of floating saffron-colored walkways, visitors to northern Italy’s Lake Iseo can now walk on water.

Well, sort of.

The Floating Piers, an artwork which moves with the waves, stretches across the lake linking two islands to the mainland – transforming the otherwise tranquil island of Monte Isola into a tourist hot-spot for 16 days this summer.

Destination: Italy

The free installation opened on June 18, but its popularity has exceeded organizers’ expectations.

Some 270,000 people turned up in the first five days, meaning that the attraction has had to be closed between midnight and 6 a.m. to allow for cleaning and repair of wear and tear.

Made by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the golden walkway is made from floating polystyrene docks topped with 100,000 square meters of shimmering golden yellow fabric, a stark contrast to the green mountainous landscape that surrounds the lake.

“We chose this lake because of its marvelous location, the islands reach hundreds of meters above the sea and only 2,000 people live there,” says Bulgarian-American artist Christo, who conceived of the idea back in 1970 together with his now late wife, Jeanne-Claude.

Tranquility and elements of nature

There are few cars on Monte Isola, which is the largest island on Lake Iseo. Here, people use bikes or Vespas, or simply walk.

A ferry service connects its only town to the mainland – an apt choice for the open-air installation which the artist hopes will encourage the simple joys of taking a walk amidst all the elements of nature.