In the early 1900s, Sicilian immigrant, citrus grower and visionary Baldassare Forestiere began turning what was useless farmland into a vast network of rooms, tunnels and courtyards as a subterranean escape from the sweltering Central Valley summer heat.
Using only shovels, picks and other hand tools, Baldassare was inspired to excavate for forty years, going as deep as 25 feet underground and spanning over 10 acres. He grew fruit trees and grapevines underground — many of which are still thriving today!
Today, guests from around the world tour through his grottos, passageways and underground homes at his underground gardens in Fresno. Although he never officially opened the Mediterranean resort of his dreams, we think Baldassare would be thrilled by all of the guests marveling at his life’s work today and finding inspiration underground.