To practise your speaking skills and to meet other people who wants to speak Italian or are mother tongue, you can join the 'meetup' group in Birmingham who organises meetings in different places visit their website to see their calendar and to join- http://www.meetup.com/birminghamitalian/
If you are looking for a nice place in Toscany away from the crowd, there is an apartment in Lucca for rent. An English family moved to Lucca and rents one apartment with pool and mountain view to tourists. For more information and to book - https://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/ then in the search you need to paste this number - 8052412
Ecco due film che descrivono gli stereotipi degli italiani del nord e del sud (in maniera comica ed esagerata) 'Benvenuti al Sud' e il seguito 'Benvenuti al Nord' - vale la pena vederli!
The making of Benvenuti al nord - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlDCVlpl0QU