by Victor Sesma
Victor Sesma is an Alicantinian living in London. He is a Software Engineer who likes writing about the city he was born.
The mushroom have not always been growing at Calle San Francisco. The history of the Mushroom Street (or Calle de Las Setas in Spanish) in Alicante started from a fairy tale story where Alicante was pretty and nice to its people and visitors.
The Mushroom Street in Alicante is situated in Calle San Francisco, Alicante. It is a walkable street with the floor painted green and yellow and two species of mushrooms growing in different personalities since 2013. The street is a legacy of the 2008 crisis and shows Alicante’s recent transformations.
The street is centrical and a perfect walk for fun, Instagraming, gastronomy and shop browsing.
The Mushroom Street is located in Calle San Francisco, 03001, Alicante, Spain.
On the East, it ends in Portal de Elche, another enigmatic little parc with centenary trees.
Mushroom Street doesn’t last for the whole of San Francisco Street but the vibe of a walkable street with shops and restaurants is alive all along.
Mushroom Street is the answer of 2013 Alicante’s city hall to two main issues:
In 2013, the creation of Musshroms Street helped to change the vibe of the whole area from being a dirty and insecure zone to the current vibrant and cosmopolitan vibe this pretty part of the city currently has.
The creation of Mushroom Street was the culmination of a series of actions focused on improving the area’s vibe. For example, in 2001, 20 shops were closed by the city hall due to irregularities (source in Spanish).
Nowadays, there are dozens of prosperous businesses such as restaurants and shops. The improvement of the economy in the area was the second objective of 2013 City Hall.
The mushroom designs were done by Sergio Martinez, an artist who also creates Hogueras for the Bonfires Festival in Alicante.
In 2013, taxpayers were looking very closely at every Euro of public spending due to recent corruption cases among the political class and the bad economic situation. The cost of Mushroom Street was €66000 and created a huge polemic discussing if the spending was sensible in the middle of the crisis with high numbers of unemployment.
On Mushroom Street there are a variety of hotels, restaurants, children’s playgrounds, shops… and mushroom in different shapes and personalities.
There are two different mushroom species. One is tall and slim, with different facial expressions. The others are short and fat, with the shape of a little house where you can enter and look through the windows.
The most important thing to do in Mushroom Street is to enjoy the mushrooms, pay attention to their different expressions and bugs, and enter the little Mushroom houses to take a photo smiling from one of the windows.
But there are also many businesses and bars. Some examples of business in Calle San Francisco or Mushroom Street are:
Every November for the last 15 years, many businesses on Mushroom Street have organised an open doors day (source in Spanish).
Several activities are happening during Botigues al Carrer Open Doors Day:
If you are lucky to be in Alicante by the open-doors day you can enjoy discounts and a festive environment. It is also a good activity to do with children.
In 2023, the open doors day was on Saturday the 14th of October. Around 30 stores participated including clothing, clothing accessories, shoes, personal care and wine stores.
The event ran from 10:30 in the morning until 20:30 in the afternoon with a music concert at 13:00 and a kids’ clown show at 17:00. During the rest of the day there were also workshops for children, music and a photocall apart from the shops’ promotions.
There was also an art exposition at Gabriel Miro Square, at the beginning of Calle de Las Setas.