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Baldassare Forestiere's Underground House

Unusual Houses in California


Baldassare Forestiere's Underground House

Trinity Courtyard at Forestiere Underground Gardens

Courtesy of Forestiere Underground Gardens

Visiting Forestiere Underground Gardens

  • Hours: Hours vary. Check their current hours
  • Cost: Admission fee
  • Reservations: Not required
  • Location: Just off US Hwy 99 on the north side of Fresno, directions below
  • How Long: Tours last about an hour
  • Best Time to Visit: It's about 20 ° cooler in the underground gardens than on the surface, but in summer Fresno temperatures can reach well over 100 °F. You'll be more comfortable if you go in spring or fall.
It's officially called Forestiere Underground Gardens, but it's not just a garden, it was also the home of Italian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere who came to Fresno in 1901. When faced with the central valley's hot summers, Forestiere went under ground, eventually digging a network of passageways that covered 10 acres. Besides an orchard full of trees planted underground so they could stay cooler, he the underground complex was also Forestiere's home, with its own small chapel, office and two bedrooms, one for winter and one for summer.

The gardens are easy to get to just off the main highway and well worth a quick stop.

Getting to Forestiere Underground Gardens

Forestiere Underground Gardens
5021 W. Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA
Forestiere Underground Gardens Website

Forestiere Underground Gardens is easy to find. Exit US Hwy 99 at the Shaw Ave. exit and go 2 blocks east. They're on the right side of the road and parking is streetside.

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