Featured Trips Types:

  • All Featured Trips
  • Scenic Drives
  • Outdoor Escapes
  • Family Road Trips
  • Movie Filming Locations
  • 48 Hour City Guides
  • Classic USA Road Trips
  • National Parks Trips & Tips
  • Weird Guides
  • Interstate Highway Exit Guides
  • Ghost Guides
  • Full Metal History
  • Plan Your Island Escape to Georgia's Golden Isles
Clear All

Accommodation Types:

  • All Accommodation
  • Bed and Breakfasts & Inns
  • Boutique Hotels
  • Holiday Inn
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Unique Stays

FastBook

Look for FastBook for quick links to
your favorite booking sites

Clear All

Attractions & Culture Types:

  • All Attractions & Culture
  • Amusement Parks
  • Children's Attractions
  • Fall Attractions
  • Museums
  • Offbeat Attractions
  • Top Attractions
  • Tours & Excursions
  • Winter Attractions
  • Zoos & Aquariums
Viator
Look for the icon to book the best
tours and activities nearby.
Clear All

Food & Drink Types:

  • All Food & Drink
  • Bars & Drinks
  • Burgers & BBQ
  • Coffee & Tea
  • Delis & Bakeries
  • Diners & Breakfast Spots
  • Ice Cream & Sweets
  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian & Health Food
  • Wineries, Breweries & Distilleries
Clear All

Outdoors & Recreation Types:

  • All Outdoors & Recreation
  • Beaches
  • Fall Foliage
  • Geographical Areas
  • Geographical Features
  • National Parks
  • Nature Reserves
  • Parks & Gardens
  • Scenic Point
  • Swimming Spots
  • Trails & Hikes
Clear All

Points of Interest Types:

  • All Points of Interest
  • Abandoned
  • Architecture
  • College Icons
  • Film & TV
  • Historic
  • Holiday Lights
  • Literature
  • Military
  • Monuments
  • Photo Op
  • Planes, Trains, Autos
  • Public Art
  • Science & Tech
  • Spooky Places
Clear All

Vacation Rentals Types:

  • All Vacation Rentals
  • HomeAway
  • Vacation Rentals

We’ve partnered with HomeAway to find you the perfect vacation rental.

Clear All

Camping & RV Types:

  • All Camping & RV
  • Cottages & Cabins
  • KOA Campgrounds
  • RV Parks
  • Tent Campgrounds
Clear All

Entertainment & Nightlife Types:

  • All Entertainment & Nightlife
  • Art Galleries
  • Casinos & Gaming
  • Cinemas
  • Games & Amusements
  • Music
  • Nightlife
  • Shows & Entertainment
  • Theaters
Clear All

Services Types:

  • All Services
  • ATMs
  • Auto Services
  • Gas/Fuel Stations
  • Rest Areas
  • Tourist Information
  • Transportation
  • Vehicle Rental
Clear All

Shopping Types:

  • All Shopping
  • Antiques
  • Books & Music
  • Crafts & Handmade
  • General Goods
  • Gifts & Souvenirs
  • Groceries
  • Malls & Shopping Areas
  • Quirky Shops
  • Thrift & Flea
Clear All

Sports Types:

  • All Sports
  • Adventure Sports
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian Sports
  • Fishing & Hunting
  • Golf
  • Gyms & Fitness
  • Skate & Surf Spots
  • Stadiums
  • Water Sports
  • Winter Sports
Clear All

Motoring Types:

  • All Motoring
  • Automotive Attractions
  • Off-Road Trails
  • Racetracks
  • Scenic Drives
Clear All
  • Trip
  • Places I've Been
  • My Saved Places
  • Collection
  • Featured Trips
  • Accommodation
  • Attractions & Culture
  • Food & Drink
  • Outdoors & Recreation
  • Points of Interest
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Camping & RV
  • Entertainment & Nightlife
  • Services
  • Shopping
  • Sports
  • Motoring
  • DON'T FORGET TO SAVE YOUR TRIP. CLICK HERE.

0 Layers
4.4
57 votes

Forestiere Underground Gardens

5021 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, California 93722 USA

$$
$$$$
Reasonable
Open Now
Thu 10a-4a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
Add to Trip

“A network of catacomb gardens!”

Fresno's best kept secret, The Forestiere Underground Gardens. Built over a century ago. 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

The Underground Gardens are the life-long devotion and hobby of Baldassare Forestiere (1879-1946), a Sicilian immigrant who came to America in 1901 to escape the iron rule of his wealthy father and pursue his own dreams.  The Gardens are a subterranean complex of patios, grottos, and garden courts interconnecting with passageways that encircle the living quarters of the self-taught artist and builder who sought to escape the brutal heat of Fresno summers.

Forestiere patterned his underground world after the ancient catacombs, which he so admired as a boy. Arches and passageways dominate the underground landscape while the stonework provides stability and beauty.  But unlike the dark catacombs that protected the remnants of the lifeless, Forestiere designed well-lit courtyards and grottos to bring forth the radiance and vitality of life.

No plans were put on paper; each room and passageway originated in Forestiere’s mind as he worked.  With the simple tools of a farmer—a pick, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow—the young immigrant dug, chipped, and carved the unforgiving hardpan land for 40 years (1906-1946) in his spare time.  By the time he was 44 years-old, he had excavated and planted over 10 acres.

But the humble immigrant’s genius did not stop there.  Incredibly, Forestiere planted multiple varieties of fruit-bearing plants at different underground levels.  Oranges, lemons, grapefruits—many on a single tree—as well as more unusual varieties like kumquat, loquat, jujube, strawberry, quince, and dates could be easily plucked from the surface by simply bending down.  Wine and table grapes also grace this sanctuary, and dangle lusciously in great clumps every-where---truly an oasis in a modern-day desert of pavement.

Read More >
Add Review
Thanks!
Your Rating
1
2
3
4
5

Reviewed by
Sea0

  • 11 Reviews
  • 16 Helpful
August 29, 2013

When we visited, I didn't know what to expect. When the tour began, immediately I was blown away by how smart and creative this man was! I recommend this place to everyone. The tour last's about 45min and every room you are brought into is awesome and different.

8 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
James Fisher

  • Road Warrior
  • 481 Reviews
  • 348 Helpful
February 22, 2013

This place blew my mind. Somehow it's remained a relatively undiscovered spot despite how stunning the architecture is, and how cool it is to see this much plant-life thriving underground.

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Nancy Sewell

  • 1,229 Reviews
  • 70 Helpful
April 7, 2016

Adults - $15 Seniors (60+) - $13
Ages (5 -17) - $7 4 and under are free

Courtesy rate of $12 each for:
College Students (w/ID) * Active Duty military (w/ID)
Discount also available for private groups of 15 or more

Peak Season
Memorial Day Weekend thru Labor Day
Wed thru Sun
Tours at 10 & 11 AM
12, 1, 2, 3 & 4 PM

Summer Holidays
Open
Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day
Tours at 10 & 11 AM
12, 1, 2, 3 & 4 PM

CLOSED
Mondays & Tuesdays
& the months of
December, January,
& February

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Cujo

  • 2 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
November 1, 2015

This place is just amazing!!! They have underground rooms reminiscent of the ancient catacombs, they have fruit producing tree.. It's close to the freeway.. If it wasn't because of this app I would never of known of this place!!!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
lyndonp

  • 10 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
September 24, 2014

Pretty cool spot to stop off and explore. Really surprising how much work one man put in and what he achieved within that time. Definitely recommend it.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
autumn.ryland

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
June 16, 2013

This place is incredible! Great for family or by yourself. Pretty amazing.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Hannah32

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
January 20, 2017

I loved this place! It is so well built and has a great history to it. Definitely a must see attraction.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by
Christina442000

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 14, 2016

Love this tour. A must see attraction.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by
Julie Mattox

  • 18 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
June 1, 2016

On a hot day stop in here. Underground it's nice and cool. This is a great place to stop and check out a home and garden that was successfully built underground. It's fantastic, and did I mention it's nice and cool.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by
sweetjudy_a

  • 10 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
August 31, 2015

Difficult to locate

Was this helpful?

Be the first to add a review to the Forestiere Underground Gardens.

Forestiere Underground Gardens

5021 W Shaw Ave
Fresno, California
93722 USA

Hours

Open now until 4:00 am
  • Sun, Wed - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 am

Is there a problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Street Parking

Nearby Hotels

Fresno, California
FastBook
$$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Fresno, California
FastBook
$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Fresno, California
FastBook
$$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Fresno, California
FastBook
$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

22668