Hi there ~ I am so excited about finally being able to get to Tuscany!!!

Will do a week at a cooking school and then staying for about 5 more days and want to make the most of my trip. Will be staying in Barga I think and I'm all over the map right now.

I know I cannot see every place I want to so I've got to narrow things down. Although I want to do some tourist stuff, I also want the "genuine italian experience" and want to be like the locals. So can I get some suggestions on places I must see and things I must do? I think I'm not doing Pisa as I've been told it's more hype (kind of like thinking the Alamo is huge and finding out how small it really is)... I think I do want to see about doing a vespa tour through Chianti region; Viareggio; Cortona; Volterra; Monteriggioni etc - I don't think I MUST see SanG or all that -

i would LOVE to stomp grapes like in the "I Love Lucy" shows - do you know if I can do that??

Also, will I be able to drive these areas without worry about my safety as I'm traveling alone - also, can I go out at night without worrying.

Anyway, need all your thoughts and ideas I'm in early stages of an itinerary.

Thank you in advance for your help