Charles Engelke's Blog

June 28, 2006


Filed under: Vacation 2006 — Charles Engelke @ 2:29 pm

Today we saw Pisa, famous for its leaning tower:


But the tower isn’t alone. It sits on a stunning green “Field of Miracles” with three other beautiful buildings. One of them is a cathedral (the Duomo) right next to it:


Galileo went to church here, and got bored during the service. The chandelier in this picture is a replica of the one that was there in Galileo’s day, and it was swaying as he watched it:


He timed the period of the sway by counting his pulse, and started working out some laws of motion. You can’t see it in this picture, but there’s a cable halfway down the chandelier support, anchoring it to the wall. Sure, it might just be for electricity, but I think it’s to keep it from swaying and inspiring another troublemaker like Galileo.


June 26, 2006


Filed under: Vacation 2006 — Charles Engelke @ 3:59 pm

On our last full day in Rome, we saw the Pantheon. It was built over 2000 years ago, and rebuilt only slightly more recently. It looks interesting from the outside:


Inside, it’s more impressive:


But it’s the dome with an opening at the top that blows you away:


This was the largest dome ever built anywhere until 1960 (so says the tourist guide, anyway). It’s the prettiest for sure. The light from the opening illuminates different sections throughout the day:


So I made Laurie pose in the light. It’s a bit dazzling, but a pretty nice picture:



Filed under: Vacation 2006 — Charles Engelke @ 3:41 pm

On our first full day in Rome took a tour. The tour wasn’t very good because the guide rarely told us anything about what we were seeing. (When in Rome, don’t deal with Vastours.) But what we saw was fantastic. The highlight was the Colosseum.

As you enter, you can look through the arches into the interior:


Once you’re inside, the view through the arches outside is beautiful:


Though the structure was plundered over and over again for materials, there’s still plenty standing, and it’s plenty impressive:


We ended our tour on top of the Capitoline Hill, looking over the ancient city, with the Colosseum in the background:


The Appian Way

Filed under: Vacation 2006 — Charles Engelke @ 3:28 pm

There’s a new Appia Way in Rome, but the original, 2300 year old one is still there, and still used. I walked a tiny bit of it today. (I would have done more, but it is hot here right now!)

This sign isn’t original, of course. They didn’t used to call it “Antica” after all.


They’ve excavated some of the original paving stones in this stretch.


But to get a sense of what it might have been like long ago, you have to look off to the side of the road:



Create a free website or blog at