On the night of the final Tozzi and Raf performed 7th in the running order, following Sweden and preceding Portugal. At the close of the voting "Gente di mare" had received 103 points, placing Italy third of the 22 entries, the country's best finish since 1975. In the voting the song received five maximum 12s – from Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Yugoslavia – but as was frequently the case with Italian entries, "Gente di mare" appeared to divide opinion among the national juries and also received too many zero or low-range scores to mount a serious challenge. The Italian jury awarded its 12 points to contest winners Ireland.
Following the contest "Gente di mare" went on to gain a degree of international success unusual for Eurovision songs by that time, reaching the top 10 in several European countries.