Our History


Galliano Vannozzi, the founder of GALLIANO, was born in San Giuliano Terme, Pisa, the 23rd May 1896. At the age of 14, he moved to New York, where he lived for 11 years together with his uncle’s family. In that period, he tried many different jobs: carpenter, mechanic, waiter and barista. In 1921 he planned to come back to Italy to get married and then come back to the USA. However, the bureaucracy problems of that time, forced him to stay in Italy longer than expected. He married his beloved Amalia and in 1923 they moved to Viareggio. With the money saved in the USA, they started renting a property on the Passeggiata and opened a bar-tobacco shop which he named after himself, GALLIANO.


In 1932 Galliano purchased building permit in front of Hotel Excelsior in Viareggio, where he built the current premise. In the beginning life was tough, but thanks to his strong character and even stronger personality, he overcame this rough period. Vannozzi had to fight against some people, who were trying to block the construction of the premise. He was a man with no interest in politics, simply wanting to work on his new opened business. Apparently, during those hard times, it was almost impossible to lead a life free from the official and political matters.


After the war ended and the situation in Italy got more stable, people starting going on holidays and finding some peace by the seaside in Viareggio. That’s also when Galliano and his wife Amalia decided to keep on developing their bar with the help of their children: Enzo, Virginia and Franca. The daughters decided to follow their own paths, leaving Enzo in charge of family business. He started improving his business skills, learning from his father Galliano, and trying to find his own interests, which turned out to be the art of Gelato. The young Vannozzi got married to Licia, who was warmly welcomed to the family. She soon bore his 3 children: the oldest son Roberto, daughter Ornella and the youngest son, Galliano, named after Enzo’s father and the business itself.


The 50s brought big changes and innovative technologies from abroad that we wanted to introduce in GALLIANO. Unfortunately, city administration was not following worldwide spreading trends and created some problems for Vannozzi’s business. In 1952 Galliano, inspired by touristic resorts in South France, built the first veranda for his guest to sit and relax in. The city claimed that it was blocking road traffic and wasn’t easy on the eye (according to them it resembled chicken hoop house). They decided to withdraw the approval and in December of the same year, the veranda had to be demolished.


During the 60s Viareggio, alongside the entire Versilia region, was gaining popularity as the most important summer resort in Europe. That rapid popularity forced Vannozzi’s to restructure GALLIANO to become more suitable for the modern needs. Enzo, who replaced his father as the main manager in 1963, decided to break down some walls and change the interior design. The renovation was completed in 1964 and in March of the same year the inauguration took place. Ever since, GALLIANO was thriving and became a favourite place for many celebrities visiting Viareggio and surroundings from all over the country. It was a period full of new ideas, hard work and fast development. This economic boom reached its peak in the mid-60s and slowly started fading with the decade’s ending.


The decadence of Viareggio started in late 60s but hit the city hard during the 70s. The lack of policies regulating tourism and other administration problems, had forced the change in tourism industry. People began to prefer to come to Viareggio for a daily trip or, regular visitors who had their summer houses in the town, for a week or two instead of a month or two. In the mid-70s, after graduating high school, Roberto and Galliano sided their father in the management of GALLIANO, while Ornella chose to follow her own path. In 1977 the Vannozzi family opened a new ice cream shop in Marina di Pietrasanta. Roberto and Galliano together with their wives ( Deanna and Alessandra) started taking care of the new point, managing it, organizing supplies and providing professional customer services.


Roberto and Galliano became more and more involved in the administration of GALLIANO in Viareggio. In 1981 with the help of their father Enzo, Vannozzi brothers decided to invest in the future and try something completely new. They opened a new area in GALLIANO a restaurant serving basic dishes, that combined the most important values:, quality, speed, price and hygiene. GALLIANO BURGER was a perfect mix of fast food restaurant and Italian quality and style. It was the best solution for tourists in 80s, who wanted to have a quick bite that was tasty and filling. They could just grab a sandwich, hamburger or a salad and head to the beach, where they were relaxing all day. The innovation in GALLIANO was accepted by all family members, including the founder- Galliano Senior, who sadly passed away in 1985 at the age of 89.


During early 90s Vannozzi family decided to renovate and modernize the interior design. The walls didn’t need any changing since the work of Enzo that he did in 1963 was still accurate. They introduced new lighting system and redesigned ice cream lab using modern materials like steel and glass. Italian and European Union laws provoked further changes in GALLIANO. 1993 was the year in which family had to struggle with the death of Amalia- the wife of founder Galliano. She has spent 70 years contributing her life to build and develop GALLIANO. After both founders have passed away, the business was being managed by their son Enzo and his wife Licia at first and then passed to their children- Roberto and Galliano. The sons received a lot of help from their wives- Deanna and Alessandra. The couples welcomed the 4th generation of Vannozzi family. Roberto and Deanna have 3 children- Barbara, Elisabetta and Edoardo, while Galliano and Alessanda have 2 sons- Francesco and Leonardo. Ornella, the only daughter of Enzo and Licia, came back to work in GALLIANO after baring a son- Andrea. She joined her father, the winner of two Oscar dei Gelatieri Artigianali, in ice cream making. At that time, Enzo was a worldwide famous ice cream Maestro, who in 1996 also created and co-founded Italian Academy of Ice Cream- a high-level body in the field of artisanal ice creamery.


One of the hardest moments of 2000s was winter 2005, when on 23rd of January Enzo had passed away and soon after that, Licia joined her husband (16th Feb 2005). Vannozzi family was bereaved and they needed time to heal. Thankfully the schooling of Enzo helped them to keep on working and developing GALLIANO, following current trends while remembering and applying their father’s lessons, both in administration and in the production. New ideas, new ice cream flavours, new kinds of ‘cold desserts’- everything was being introduced and developed by the new generation just like their father would want it to be. In the pastry lab, Deanna, the wife of Roberto, through her dedication, hard work and creativity, improved the offer by adding many new interesting positions. The commitment of the family to keep the café to the highest level possible has been awarded by the “Gambero Rosso guide” that listed GALLIANO amongst the best bar/cafés in Italy since 2005. In their guide, they are praising the pastries, ice cream, restaurant and the level of excellence of products and services. In particular, the Budino di riso (rice-custard cake, a typical Tuscanian cake) is classified for few years as the “best budino di riso of the tuscanian seaside”.