Forestiere Underground Gardens

The historic Forestiere Underground Gardens is a Fresno landmark that I’ve always wanted to visit! We had the chance to get a private tour of the underground gardens by the niece of the original owner, Baldassare Forestiere. Baldassare was an Italian immigrant who came to Fresno with dreams of owning land and growing citrus trees in the Central Valley. Because of the Central Valley’s hot weather, he had the ingenious idea of building his house and planting sections of his fruit trees underground. Most of the underground garden is at least one story underground and the underground design creates a natural air flow that comes in handy especially in the summer heat (about a 10-15 degree difference underground).

The underground stone architecture mixed with the surrounding variety of citrus trees makes for beautiful scenery, and I was impressed by the detail and amount of work that went into the design of the whole space. Baldassare designed his spacious living area to include multiple bedrooms, a chapel, a small library, a kitchen, and all surrounded by different citrus trees reaching out to the surface.

The underground gardens is also one of the most visited Historic Sites in CA and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for something new to do and explore in Fresno!

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