Walk On Water At Italy’s New “Floating Piers”

Travel News Italy

It’s been 11 years since Bulgarian artist Christo filled unveiled “The Gates,” his giant, magnificent orange passages that brought a splash of color to an otherwise snow-white winter in Central Park. The large-scale creator clearly isn’t afraid to take his time—his projects, which are massive in size and take years to develop and construct, have been mostly nonexistent for more than a decade.

That changed this summer though, when the artist opened a 400-meter stretch of floating cloth on top of the water of Italy’s Lake Iseo. The sprawling orange walkways offer visitors the possibility of literally walking on water—at least as close as is possible without the use of some tricky slight of hand.

The “Floating Piers,” which first opened to the public on June 18, are composed of 200,000 floating cubes that forge together to support a surprisingly large number of pedestrians at a time. Access to these seemingly magical bridges is completely free, although naturally weather dependent.

For those looking to walk on water themselves, time is of the essence. Although the exhibit opened just a week ago, the Floating Piers will shut down for good on July 3. However, Lake Iseo is only 100 kilometers from Milan and around 200 kilometers from Venice, making it the perfect pit stop on an Italian summer vacation.

Although the project will be short-lived the effort behind the scenes was immense. Apparently, there have been plans to create the Floating Piers more than 46 years, without attempts in South America and Japan failing to get off the ground.

In total, it took around $17 million to construct the exhibit—a steep bill that Christo paid for through the sale of some of his other artwork in order to ensure the piers could remain free.

So if you’ve always dreamt of walking on water, it may be time to book a spontaneous trip to Italy, as an opportunity this long in the making may not be available again for quite some time.

Dillon Thompson is a travel intern with Paste and a student at the University of Georgia.

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