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“The Only Truly Unique Attraction In Fresno”

Forestiere Underground Gardens
Ranked #2 of 57 things to do in Fresno
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Take a tour off Highway 99 and visit Fresno's best kept secret. *A hand-built network of underground rooms, courtyards and passageways reminiscent of the ancient catacombs. *Unique fruit producing trees, shrubs, and vines growing underground - some over 90 years old! *Ancient Roman architecture - arches, vaults and stone-built walls. *Underground micro-climates - temperature variations of 10 to 30 degrees! *Underground home of Sicilian visionary and self-taught artist/builder Baldassare Forestiere.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Imagine a turn-of-the-century immigrant from Sicily arriving in the blistering heat of Fresno and then deciding that he had to find a way to keep cool. His answer was live underground! You have to tour his amazing cave home on a hot day to appreciate what he was able to accomplish. Not sure I understand the engineering but it is comfortably cool without forced air conditioning of any kind. Many people who live in Fresno, don't even realize this place exists near the Shaw Ave. and Highway 99 interchange.

1  Thank PstarTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"our tour guide"
in 36 reviews
"hard work"
in 18 reviews
"fruit trees"
in 30 reviews
"living quarters"
in 14 reviews
"one of a kind"
in 18 reviews
"unique place"
in 17 reviews
"one person"
in 16 reviews
"degrees cooler"
in 9 reviews
"single man"
in 8 reviews
"his life"
in 7 reviews
"hour tour"
in 11 reviews
"interesting history"
in 7 reviews
"high speed"
in 6 reviews
"shaw avenue"
in 6 reviews
"escape the heat"
in 6 reviews
"below ground"
in 6 reviews
"hidden gem"
in 17 reviews
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457 - 461 of 591 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is a must see! When you arrive it appears to be a nursery...you would never know what is hidden below the surface. The 'engineering' mind behind the development of this amazing underground garden & home is unbelievable! The tour begins in a huge ballroom with the history of Mr. Forestiere & how he built the underground garden. This would be an awesome location for a wedding!!! Every tunnel you walk through has something different & amazing. Thinking of the time period when it was designed shows that he was way ahead of his time. Everything has a purpose, it's not just there for looks. The guides are very informative. Able to answer just about any question you might have. I don't see how they remember everything! LOL! One of the most amazing things for us was that it was almost 90 degrees outside & when we made our way down into the tunnels it was refreshingly cool & a light jacket would have been nice! I would love to have a home like this!! This man was brilliant!! If you're coming anywhere near this area, take the time to stop in & check this out. You will not be disappointed!!

Thank sandlbrooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

An Italian guy came to Fresno back before air conditioners and outside of town built himself a home under ground. Digging with a pick and shovel through hard pan. Must take a tour. He had solar before it was invented and did many other things that were not yet. Its huge. One room is big enough a high school had their senior ball their. His plan was to build a restaurant. Very Interesting. A family will enjoy. Cooler in the summer down under.

Thank Leona D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

A nice place to escape the summer heat. Much cooler down there. Amazing that it was made with just hand tools.

Thank godogs2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is one of the most interesting places I've ever seen! I love architecture, stone work, archways, and the creativity of Mr. Forestiere is truly remarkable. When I visited, there was beautiful dappled light coming through to the rooms and tunnels. It would have been helpful to see a map or floor plan, because the place is extensive. Not all the rooms are accessible, and without a guide, you would get lost. I wanted to rent it for an overnight stay - it was that wonderful!

I visited it in August of 2009 (the "When did you visit?" doesn't go back past 2012 so i have the wrong year on this review) and am still in awe when I remember it.

Take a camera and wear good walking shoes. There are steps, and sometimes you have to duck under things.

This place is very unique and an amazing accomplishment by a genius, well worth a visit.

Thank Jana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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