Forestiere Underground Gardens, Fresno

#2 of 33 in Things to do in Fresno
Garden · Historic Site
Admire the hand-built rooms of Forestiere Underground Gardens, beneath the Earth that transport you back to ancient Roman times right in the middle of Central California. The residence, built by Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere to escape the hot Fresno sun, was inspired by the Roman catacombs Forestiere knew as a child. He worked on his masterpiece tirelessly for 40 years, and spent countless hours excavating the hard soil to build the impressive subterranean structure. You can tour the summer bedroom, winter bedroom, kitchen, parlor, and grottoes that span 4 hectares (10 acres) intermixed with large archways and courtyards that allow in light. Forestiere also planted fruit trees underground and kept them thriving. You can appreciate the 100-year-old plants, some rare and exotic that can only grow here due to their protection from frost. Bring a sweater, as temperaures can be cooler underground. Add Forestiere Underground Gardens and other attractions to your Fresno trip itinerary using our Fresno tour itinerary planning website.
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Forestiere Underground Gardens reviews

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  • What a cool place !! Our tour guide Latishka was phenomenal! Truly could tell she enjoyed telling the story of the garden !! I highly recommend going  more »
  • We had such an amazing time at the Forsetiere Gardens!! Truly remarkable and so unique! So happy we came and did the tour! Latieshka was incredibly knowledgeable and SO fun! She was hilarious and...  more »
  • I had been wanting to check this place out for years. It's definitely worth your time and the price of admission. Tours take approximately 1 hour and I think the best time to come is during the peak summer heat when you truly understand just why this place exists. The day we came it was over 100 degrees yet in the gardens it was only in the low 80s, a refreshing change. If you can possibly wait to come until your kids are older they will definitely get more out of the experience. My 6 year old enjoyed it but there are a lot of moments where the guide is explaining the history of the place and it's hard to keep the little ones engaged. There are also a lot of things that they discourage you from touching, which is obviously hard for little ones. Someone else in our group had a 4 year old and they were having an even rougher time than we were. Both of our kids have referenced our visit several times, so I know it left a lasting impact. In order to see the gardens you have to be on a guided tour and they start on the hour, so it's best to show up about half an hour before your desired tour time because they often sell out due to size limitations. Pictures just can't do this place justice. It's truly road side Americana at it's best, still owned and operated by the original family. Street parking only.
  • 40 years. One man. One pretty incredible achievement. This is an underground Italian-styled house that was handmade in the early 20th century by a Fresno resident. The amount of effort put in is remarkable and to be in such an innocuous place adds to the mystery and beauty of this crazy dig. Its as if the Winchester mystery house was made by a mole with a love of citrus and the environment.

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