Alicante’s iconic Calle San Francisco with its yellow painted road, giant mushrooms and snails looks like something from a top children’s film. But 10 years ago, things were very different. This central part of the city was rundown and many of the shops were closed on the main road connecting Avenida del Dr Gadea with the Rambla.
Sonia Castedo was the mayor of Alicante from 2008 to 2014 and she searched throughout Europe to find inspiration to make an area which would be attractive to children, somewhere for them to play. She found what she was looking for in a street in Strasbourg, which was the work of an Alicante artist Pachi. They held a meeting and, thus, the idea of the mushroom street began to emerge.
The artworks breathed new life into the street, which is now a major attraction with tour guides and visitors from the cruise ships stopping off here, as well as being a place for local children to play safely.
Today, there is concern about the area looking tired and needing more care. Alicante council is now working on a project to transform Calle San Francisco during 2024 including repainting the road and replacing the children’s games and soft flooring,
Calle San Francisco is in the centre of Alicante between Avenida del Dr Gadea and the Rambla de Mendez Nuñez. At either end are two ornate squares - Plaza Calvo Sotelo and Plaza Portal De Elche, built in the 19th century as a meeting point for residents.
Article by Sarah Farrell - www.sarahswritestuff.com