Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art), Innsbruck, Austria

For a crash course on Tyrol life, visit the Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum. Part of it is like a life-sized dollhouse where visitors can pop into typical sparse but functional farmhouse kitchen/dining/living areas, view an array of furniture and tools and stand next to figures wearing traditional celebratory costumes. There is also an entire gallery of intricate nativity scenes, Miniaturen des Evangeliums, (de rigeur at Christmastime, but I guarantee you have nothing like these under your tree) and, of course, much on the geography and history of Tyrol. The goods were sourced from within the old Tyrol borders, which now include the Province of Treno and the Ladin valleys of the Dolomites in Italy.

My favorite piece was the painting reminding citizens to keep their noses to themselves and out of their neighbors’ business. Good advice for any era.

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