Iglesia de la Soledad
La Iglesia de la Soledad is one of the few churches undamaged by earithquakes, maintaining much of its orginal architectural elements of the neo-baroque movement. Last year the church was fundraising on Facebook in order to make necesasry updates to the facade and electrical systems.
A few weeks ago work began on the exterior and here we can see the front face with a beautiful new paint job and the addition of gold trimmings. As work continues this church regains its original luster.
The past 3 years have seen some remarkable restorations of more than 20 buildings in downtown San Jose but the same marvel persists in all cases. Buildings are individually restored but entire blocks continue to clash in a 'visual cacaphony'. For example this beautiful church is 50 meters from the recently completed "Barrio Chino" pictured below, each individually interesting but difficult to imagine next to one another. I've decided San Jose's lack of themes is its theme.
To see some more of the best architectural clashes in the city book our Bird's Nest Tour for $22.
The gateway to Barrio Chino is now complete. What's left is the filling in of new commercial space in the same block. To date you can still find a corner bar, fabulous bakery, hardware store, street pizza, ice cream and a Claro store.
Unfortunately nothing chinese greets you at the entrance to this new piece of architecture but if you wonder far enough south you will find chinese restaurants, supermarkets and trinket stores.
For more history on why there are Chinese people in Costa Rica and why this new gateway was created book our Bird's Nest Tour for $22.
We all love to discover a cozy spot obviously located, but still tucked away. On a recent birthday celebration, I was tipped off by the team at Hoopnosis Costa Rica to the coziest spot to hit downtown in sometime. Also along for the special occasion was Erin of De la Pura Vida.
The newly opened Basilico is the perfect central hideaway, and its wood-burning oven and interior provide the sights and smells of a cozy mountain lodge, an instant mental escape from San Jose.
The menu successfully delivers the tastes to complement the ambiance. About 20 pizza options, along with pasta entrees and salad plates means you will definitely have to return.
None of us being heavy meat eaters, we opted for a mozzarella, tomato, mushroom and gorgonzola GIGANTE pizza. We each had two big slices but decided we needed a repeat and ordered the same pizza again (even after sharing two salads).
Basilico passes my litmus test of quality developed over the years of living in Costa Rica - the inclusion of imported cheeses and fresh, not canned mushrooms.
After exploring the menu, I was curious to wander further around the restaurant. Throughout you can spot elements indicating it used to be a house. The bottom floor ceiling resembles many of the old coffee mansions you will find in San Jose, especially Barrio Amon. I headed up a spiral staircase to find a large second floor with a beautiful wine case and colorful skylight. This venue could easily hold 40 people for an event.
The average entree price is 5.000 and pizzas vary in size up to 15.000 but who cares, it's good pizza in San Jose!
Currently if you pay in cash you receive a 25% discount, and best of all on your birthday you receive your age as the amount saved. We'll let you guess who was had the birthday that allowed us to get 50% off our total order, wine included!
75 meters east of Toyota, Paseo Colon, 2256-6321
By Stacey Auch.