Johannes Zebrusius was a feudal knight living in northern Italy around 1100 A.D.

He lived in Gera Lario, a small village located near Como and was in love with beautiful Armelinda, who did not seem to like him very much. To earn her attentions and respect he decided to take part in the first crusade and left for four long years. When he came back as a hero, he discovered that Armelinda had meanwhile married with another man; so, full of sadness and disgust, he retired alone in a valley near Bormio, where he lived for thirty years and a day (or so tells the legend). When he felt he was about to die, he had a sepulchre prepared for himself with a huge limestone rock bearing his name; he entered the sepulchre and had the limestone rock seal it forever.

Nowadays his name is everywhere in Alta Valtellina, near Bormio: there is a Val Zebrù (Zebrù Valley) where a Zebrù river flows, two mountains (Monte Zebrù and Gran Zebrù, a.k.a. König-Spitze), and countless hotels, restaurants, shops located in the area. There is even a mythical animal named Zebrù that some folks claim to have encountered!

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