Christo’s Floating Piers at Lake Iseo – discovering a hidden gem

Christo, the floating piers at Lake Iseo
Clockwise from left: The lake promenade at Lovere, beautiful Lake Iseo at sunset looking towards Monte Isola, the Floating Piers shining bright in the morning sunlight, the view of the Piers connecting Monte Isola with the tiny island of San Paolo. All photos © Claudia Hellmann

Italy is always worth a trip, and soaking up a bit of dolce far niente makes a few days feel like a real holiday. So it didn’t take much to convince me to take a brief sojourn to the northern Italian Lake District to see Christo’s latest project – the Floating Piers on Lake Iseo. The spectacular installation is a three-kilometre-long floating walkway on the lake, draped in 70,000 square meters of orange fabric. Until July 3, everybody can traverse the lake on these platforms that connect the mainland with two small islands in the lake. You may have to brave the masses, but it gives you an entirely new perspective of the lake.

But even if you can’t make it for the Floating Piers, Lake Iseo is always worth a trip. Surrounded by hills and dotted with picturesque little towns like lovely Lovere, this smaller lake tends to stand in the shadow of neighbouring Lake Garda to the east and Lake Como to the west. Iseo is every bit as beautiful as the two bigger and more famous lakes and a lot more quiet – unless Christo lets you walk on water, of course. So put this little known gem on your vacation list!

IRMA’s travel tips for Lago d’Iseo

Charming luxury resort in the hills of Franciacorta just a few minutes off the lake, L’Albereta has a fabulous Espace Chenot spa and an award-winning restaurant. There is no better place to rest your head at Lake Iseo!
Via Vittorio Emanuele 23, 25030 Erbusco

Cascina Doss
The old cascina, or farm house, outside of Iseo looks rustic, but the menu is modern und creative. Enjoy the catch of the day and melt-in-your-mouth risotto is worth more than a little detour.
Via Colombera 15, 25049, Iseo

Antica Trattoria del Gallo
Old-fashioned trattoria specializing in traditional cucina Italiana and fabulous fish dishes served in the dining room with the old vaulted ceiling.
Via Risorgimento 46, Clusane sul Lago