Sabhal Mòr Ostaig was last week the base for 13 students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. As part of their degree programme, the students visited a variety of food suppliers and producers including a dairy farm, an organic farm, and hotels and restaurants throughout Skye & Lochalsh. It was a hectic week of visits during which they also found time to learn about crofting and geological and historical aspects of the area with a series of lectures at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The students left Skye and Lochalsh on Sunday to visit Aberdeenshire and Edinburgh before returning to Italy. The party of students and their co-ordinator, Fulvio Silvestri were the first from the Italian University to take such a trip to Scotland as part of the course and it was most certainly not an easy journey for them, having to leave in the early hours of the morning after the World Cup Final in which, of course, the Italians won!

The University of Gastronomic Sciences is similar to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in that it is a relatively small further education institution which was established just 2 years ago in 2004. It offers students the opportunity to learn through a combination of academic work and unique field trips to many countries such as Scotland, France and Hungary. These unique field trips are known as “Stages” and contribute to the students’ credits in gaining their degree.