Forestiere Underground Gardens
This sprawling subterranean dwelling is a unique living monument to a remarkable man. Working alone with a pick, shovel and wheelbarrow, Sicilian immigrant Baldasare Forestiere (1879-1946) sculpted his home and gardens from the hardpan sandstone earth of the San Joaquin Valley. Originally covering 10 acres, this state landmark today preserves 40 rooms that remain on five acres. Without formal education, Forestiere designed vaulted rooms and hallways, a sophisticated natural ventilation system and well-functioning drainage. A series of passages open to courtyards, where Forestiere planted numerous fruit trees that can be harvested from ground level, 25ft above.