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“Frustratingly mixed experience ”
Review of Gianni Franzi

Gianni Franzi
Ranked #18 of 38 Restaurants in Vernazza
Price range: $17 - $27
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed July 31, 2019 via mobile

In all honesty, this restaurant’s 3.5 rating on TA is probably right on the mark. If it was possible, that’s exactly what I would have given it. My wife enjoyed her pesto pasta and French fries while my seafood ravioli was only okay and did not seem that fresh. As others have said, staff can be quite abrupt and not very attentive. It’s a great location in the main square with a great buzz. Unfortunately, food and service let it down slightly which is frustrating given its potential. I preferred my meal in Gambero Rosso across the square.

Date of visit: July 2019
Thank POC-CW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 - 12 of 948 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2019 via mobile

Gianni Franzi was recommended by our apartment owner, and it’s very closed proximity to the coast of Vernazza. As it was drizzling and the temperature was in the mid-10s, we decided to sit inside the restaurant to enjoy the nice warm ambience for our late lunch.

This is where we had our second pot of mussels in Italy, and we ordered the fish and shrimps. As expected, the seafood was very fresh but the servings was really small when compared to other Italy cities (ie Rome and Florence). Overall service was also a bit slower and the staff was less eager to please. Not too sure whether it’s because it’s almost siesta or the weather.

However, the good part of eating fish at this restaurant was that the server will debone the fish in front of us, demonstrating an envious set of skills that I hope to achieve one day.

Date of visit: May 2019
3  Thank Places_W_People
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2019

Went here six years ago and was excited to come back this time when I came back to Vernazza with my family. Unfortunately, I had about as bad of an experience as you can have. My sister and I were refused service on multiple occasions, seemingly simply for being American. After saying hello and asking for a table, we were told just “no” without any explanation. While the waiter seemed a bit short with us, we just assumed they were busy and went somewhere else for lunch.
Because we wanted to recreate a meal from our previous trip, we decided to go back after lunch to try to make a booking for dinner the next night. It was at this time that the waiter rudely walked up and firmly repeated his “NO” from before. We explained we had already eaten but just wanted to make a booking for later, and he looked at us, paused, and without saying anything asked the group behind us if they would like a table. We were a bit confused but just assumed they must have had a reservation (which we later learned from chatting with them that they didn’t), so we stayed in line assuming they just needed some time to get to us for a reservation. However, after fifteen minutes of patiently waiting and then serving multiple people behind us in line, it became clear that they were just ignoring us. It’s hard to say why for certain, but they seated a number of Italian and French speakers, and continued ignoring us and one Asian couple who came a couple minutes later.
At this point I was pretty irritated, not having dealt with this kind of clear discrimination in this country before, but I assumed it was just a couple bad servers who were stressed from rush hour (although by 2pm after our actual lunch they weren’t really that busy). So I approached what appeared to be the manager, explained we had been waiting a bit and just wanted to make a booking for later because we really enjoyed their food. He also was very short, and just said “it’s impossible” without even asking when I wanted a booking.
I would be lying if I said the food wasn’t great, but the whole staff was so incredibly rude and discriminatory that I feel obligated to document it. A couple clarifications for the skeptics - I had nothing to drink that day so alcohol had nothing to do with the treatment, despite being upset I never complained to them or yelled at them, I was well dressed at the time, and this is the first 1-star review I’ve left in all of my travels. From everything I could see, their refusal was based solely on who I was, not how I was. I understand other people have to deal with far worse all the time, but there is no place for service like this in the restaurant or tourist business.
For what it’s worth, the place next door had lovely servers and amazing food. Anyone who cares about good service or taking a stand against discrimination is encouraged to enjoy a meal there!

Date of visit: July 2019
2  Thank Brian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2019

This is an extremely popular spot. Gianni's is not the only food experience there, but it certainly seems to be the most popular. Service is very efficient with a good menu and the staff are very helpful although very busy. Good drinks list.
There is always fresh fish available!!

Date of visit: June 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank apaulkerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2019

The food, drinks, and service were all fine. Not great, but not bad. The food tasted good, but the portions were a bit on the small side (especially given the price). The restaurant is right in the middle of the village square on the water. It's the perfect place to sit, people watch, and take in Vernazza. Since we were just stopping in Vernazza for lunch after hiking from Monterosso, we wanted to eat at a place with a view. You're paying for the location.

Date of visit: June 2019
Thank ScrumpyJ_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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