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Even if you're not a huge car buff, Europe's growing assortment of automobile museums offer a fascinating look at history, culture, design, and technology. There are a huge range of options, from the slick Volkswagen Autostadt, or "car city" in Wolfsburg—about halfway between Hannover and Berlin—that offers nearly a dozen restaurants and amusement park-type distractions for kids and grown-ups, to the (appropriately) more staid Rolls-Royce museum in northeastern Austria. Lovers of sports cars might want to make a pilgrimage to Modena, Italy—also known for its balsamic vinegar—where no fewer than three different museums celebrate the storied heritage of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati.
Click on for an introduction to Europe's top auto museums…and then hit the road.