Sure, you can go the standard route and visit museums that deepen your knowledge of the region you are visiting and enrich your appreciation for a given culture. Or, you can find really crazy museums full of odd, specialized information that leave you baffled and possibly frightened.
Littledean Jail in Gloucester, England, is truly disturbing. The museum houses a staggering collection of crime memorabilia. As they warn prospective visitors, “If easily offended, disturbed or of a sensitive nature, we strongly urge that you avoid visiting Littledean Jail” — so be prepared for the grizzly. The weapons of London gangsters are displayed next to guillotines and shrunken heads and bloodied tee shirts of punk musicians. The museum used to be a jail and has an eerie feeling to it. And, not surprisingly, the curator of this collection is himself rather eccentric. When not fighting neighbors trying to shut him down, he is often on the premises available to answer questions.
The Museum of Bad Art
The Museum of Bad Art in Dedham, Mass., proudly announces it is, “the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms.” What constitutes bad art can be subjective, of course, but there should be little debate that the pieces displayed here — especially the portraiture — are worthy of inclusion.
The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi, India, is flush with information about the history of hygiene and sanitation. The museum has an impressive number of toilets from throughout the ages on display.
The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
A staple of poor students’ diets for decades, the Ramen Noodle has its own museum dedicated to it in Osaka, Japan. Fascinating exhibits include “The Birth of Chicken Ramen,” “CUPNOODLES Drama Theater” and “Instant Noodles Tunnel.”
Avanos Hair Museum in Turkey
Locks of women’s hair cover the walls of this odd museum, started by a potter looking for a unique gimmick to entice people to his pottery workshops.
Solomon Burke sings there is nothing sadder than a glass of wine alone, which is why two glasses are always recommended. It is cold outside and so the season to burrow and get cozy by the fire has begun. With all this talk of wine, you might think only the finest bottle can be enjoyed, but rest assured even when your bottle of red has been open for two days, this is the season for salvaging joy. Pour that slightly off bottle into a pot, add a little brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and half an orange. Heat it up to a simmer for 10 minutes or so and then strain into mugs. You will have yourself some tasty mulled wine in no time.
Once business concludes, a world of wonder awaits in many of Italy’s incredible cities.
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