Gianni Franzi - Cinque Terre, Italy

Piazza Marconi 5
19018 Vernazza, Italy
Closed Wednesdays and the winter season

Gianni Franzi has a very gorgeous view of the Vernazza harbor and is located right in the middle of the piazza.  On our first night in Cinque Terre, we decided to enjoy a nice meal overlooking the waters and enjoy the sunset over the mountains.  The food was a bit pricey compared to the other restaurants, but we paid for the beautiful view. It was decently crowded, even at 8:30pm, but we still managed to get a table. Service was pretty slow and not as friendly, but that's what we expected.

We first ordered the troffie al pesto, a Ligurian specialty of pesto (which is basil grounded up with cheese, olive oil and pine nuts) with potatoes and green beans. The troffie is made of chestnut flour.  The dish was quite delicious and the pesto exuded the basil and cheese flavorings very well.

 For our next primi, we had a simple spaghetti with tomato sauce, which was nice, but nothing that really stood out for us. 

We also ordered something like a grilled veal scallopini with a squeeze of lemon.  Again, nothing special here.

Then I tried the Tegame alla Vernazza, another regional specialty.  This Ligurian baked dish has marinated acciughe or anchovies (not the salt-cured American kind, but fresh), with potatoes, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, lemon, and herbs.  I didn't particularly liked this dish that much. The tomatoes and sauce was nice and somewhat flavorful, but the fish was bland.  I didn't try this dish anywhere else, so I can't compare as to how it should really taste.

Here's a night shot of the piazza in Vernazza.  Such a lovely and quaint town that everyone should visit!  There are other restaurants in Vernazza though that are a bit less touristy and serve more authentic tastes of the region.

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