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by E. B.
July 28, 2003
Go for the tour given by Baldasare Forestiere's sister-in-law. She gives a tour every Saturday and Sunday at noon, 1pm, and 2pm. Ignore the sign that says there's a tour at 3pm. The sign is old and needs to be replaced. We went to the 3pm tour and discovered that they allow you to walk around the Gardens, but they don't really give you the real tour. His nephew does a mini-tour and sets you to look around on your own. I have been to the Gardens three times. The first two times was the tour led by Forestiere's sister-in-law. The last time was the mini-tour led by his nephew. Make sure you make it to the gardens before 2pm. Don't miss the real tour.
The cool thing about this place is most Fresno residents have yet to discover it. Of course, when the cafe opens, this well-kept secret won't be so secret anymore.
From journal Fresno, Host of CSU Summer Arts
November 11, 2002
An architectural feat, the gardens were hand-carved over a period of 40 years by Baldasare Forestiere, a Sicilian immigrant, who actually lived in the dirt labyrinth to escape the Valley heat. Holes in the ground act as windows and skylights from which underground fruit trees would grow up through. His bed and kitchen still remain, though the large aquarium does not. The tunnels originally covered a large area, though parts of it are closed off to the public.
For tour information, call 559/271-0734.
From journal "What the heck's in FRESNO?"