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Forestiere Underground Gardens, Fresno

If I’d been living in Fresno in the early 1900s, I’d have visited Baldasare Forestiere often, especially in August.

To beat the scorching heat, this Sicilan immigrant spent nearly forty years creating an underground dwelling. Temperatures underground are a refreshing 20 degrees cooler.

On a guided tour, you can follow the pathways that meander through his subterranean home. His network of rooms, patios, courtyards and niches have skylights made by cutting circular holes for light, ventilation and rainwater for his plants. A bath alcove is chiseled out of bedrock. A kitchen and two bedrooms are nearby.

Forestiere arrived in the United States in 1901 at the age of 22. Over the next 38 years, working alone with a pick, shovel and wheelbarrow, the 5’4” man who never learned to read or write created this elaborate, 10,000-square-foot underground abode.

The creation of a simple man lies 20 feet below the surface of the earth at 5021 West Shaw Avenue, just a 5½ -hour drive to the Central Valley. Tour prices are Adults $12, Teens $8, Children $7. Days and times can change, so call 559-271-0734 to confirm or visit their website: undergroundgardens.com.

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If I’d been living in Fresno in the early 1900s, I’d have visited Baldasare Forestiere often, especially in August.

To beat the scorching heat, this Sicilan immigrant spent nearly forty years creating an underground dwelling. Temperatures underground are a refreshing 20 degrees cooler.

On a guided tour, you can follow the pathways that meander through his subterranean home. His network of rooms, patios, courtyards and niches have skylights made by cutting circular holes for light, ventilation and rainwater for his plants. A bath alcove is chiseled out of bedrock. A kitchen and two bedrooms are nearby.

Forestiere arrived in the United States in 1901 at the age of 22. Over the next 38 years, working alone with a pick, shovel and wheelbarrow, the 5’4” man who never learned to read or write created this elaborate, 10,000-square-foot underground abode.

The creation of a simple man lies 20 feet below the surface of the earth at 5021 West Shaw Avenue, just a 5½ -hour drive to the Central Valley. Tour prices are Adults $12, Teens $8, Children $7. Days and times can change, so call 559-271-0734 to confirm or visit their website: undergroundgardens.com.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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