Saints of Montefiascone

As of the 6th century B.C., an Etruscan town flourished on the shores of Lake Bolsena, the largest volcanic lake in Europe, in present-day Montefiascone.

Many archaeologists even indicate the Montefiascone area as site of the most important Etruscan sanctuary, Fanum Voltumna, “shrine of Voltumna.” The Etruscan dodecapoli (league of 12 city-states) met annually at Fanum, in a place elected as omphalos (sacred navel), the geographical and spiritual center of Etruria, the Etruscan nation. Political and 


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Right below the San Nicola di Bari fresco cycle is the 12th century tomb of Johannes Defuk, a noble German prelate who died in Montefiascone on his way to Rome for the incarnation of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor. Legend says that this nobleman had ordered his servant, Martino, to precede him on the trip, indicating “EST” in places where he found a good wine. The legend has a tragicomic gran finale. Arriving in Montefiascone, Defuk found a triple “EST” and stopped to drink so much of the recommended wine that he died. The inscription on his tombstone is inscribed with the words, “Est est est propter nimium est hic Johannes De Fuk dominus meus mortuus est,” (“Est Est Est here lies my lord Defuk, who died for too much Est”). Travelers can try that Est!! Est!! Est!! white wine while exploring the Lake Bolsena area. I wonder if it is good enough to die for!