"Walking to Old Montreal" Old Montreal Tip by alza

Old Montreal, Montreal: 28 reviews and 27 photos


Favorite thing: Photo : Walking from Métro Place d'Armes to the Basilique Notre-Dame and Old Montreal.

At the blue columns on the right, there's La Popessa, a formula eatery, "Universal Pasta, Fast Cuisine & Healthy Meals", cafeteria style. I saw weekend dads with kids walking up to it & inside. Popular with the young crowd. On Saint-Antoine West, corner Saint-Urbain.

A short story about La Popessa -

In tarot, La Popessa refers to the High Priestess. The card may have been inspired by legendary Pope Joan, thought to have reigned between 1086 & 1108.
-- John Anglicus, born at Mainz, was Pope John VIII for a while. John was a woman...
who went to Athens as a young girl, disguised as a man. She learned so much that once in Rome, no one could equal her. She gained a great reputation & was made Pope. But she became pregnant & had a child during a procession from St Peter's to the Lateran, in a lane called Via Sacra, now known as "Via evitata" (the "shunned street") between the Coliseum and St Clement's church.
"The Lord Pope always turns aside from the street [...] because of abhorrence of the event. (Martin of Opava, Chronicon Pontificum et Imperatorum).

Fondest memory: While on a visit to Rome, I walked along Via Sacra from the Coliseum to St Clement's, and on to the Lateran. I didn't know about Popessa Joan at the time...
Some say Popessa Giovanna was lapidated by an angry mob when the baby appeared...
I had found the street so quiet and inviting, had stopped for an expresso, dolce farniente! now I'm not so sure...

Sister Pascalina, who was the confidant of Pope Pius XII, is also known as La Popessa, as it's a "title" often given to women who have influence over a pope.

The End.

Food for thought while you're eating your fettucine alfredo at Restaurant La Popessa on rue Saint Antoine in Montreal.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 1, 2013
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