Born in Rome, Giovanna is the daughter of actors Vittorio and Cecilia Sacchi. She first worked in Paris for two years at the Peter Brook Workshop (Le Centre International de Crèations Thèatrales). She made her stage debut in Bouffes Du Nord with the role of Ofelia in “Qui est lá,” created and directed by Peter Brook, and based on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with text by Artaud, Brecht, Craig, Mayerhold, Sanislavski e Zeami, for which she received the Premio Coppola-Prati 1996 (the jury presided over by theatre critic, Franco Quadri.)
In 1997, she made her film debut in Il viaggio della sposa (The Bride’s Journey) written by and starring Sergio Rubini. She was awarded the Nastro d’Argento fro New Talent in Italian Cinema. She was also given the Grolle d’Oro, the Globo d’Oro by the Foreign Press Association and the Premio Flaiano fro Best Actress of the 1997-1998 season.
In 1998, she starred in the film Del Perduto Amore directed by Michele Placido, with Fabrizio Bentivoglio and Sergio Rubini. She was awarded the Nastro d’Argento, the Ciak d’Oro and Premio Pasinetti fro Best Actress in a starring role. Also in 1998, Giovanna played the role of a young girl with muscular dystrophy for the Italian National Television Network, RaiDue.
In 1999, she played the role of Silvia in the film, Un uomo perbene, with Michele Palcido and Mariangela Melato, directed by Maurizio Zaccaro. Also in 1999, she starred in the film Asini, directed by Antonello Grimaldi, with Claudio Bisio.
In 2000, she traveled between Prague and Paris for work in the television film, Les Miserables, directed by Josèe Dayan, with Gèrard Depardieu, and John Malkovich. She then worked in Denmark on Nobel, directed by Fabio Carpi, with Hector Alterio. In Italy, she worked with Puglielli in Tutta La Conoscenza Del Mondo (All There Is To Know) and then, L’ultimo bacio (The Last Kiss) directed by Gabriele Muccino with Stefano Accorsi and Stefani Sandrelli (winning the Premio Flaiano).
In 2001, she played the role of Francesca in the film Malefemmene with Angela Molina and directed by Fabio Conversi. She also worked on State Zitti Per Favore, with Adriano Giannini and directed by Livia Giampalmo, in the role of the mother of twins.
In 2002, she played the role of the murdered journalist, Ilaria Alpi in the picture Il Piu Crudele Dei Giorni. She then worked in France on the series “Daddy”, directed by Giacomo Battiato and starring Klaus Maria Brandauer. Back in Italy, she starred in the film Facing Windows, directed by Ferzan Ozpetek, for which she earned many awards, including: the David di Donatello (the Italian Oscar), the Ciak d”Oro, the Nastro d’Argento, the Globo d’Oro by the Foreign Press (European Golden Globe), the Flaiano Award, and the Karlovy Vary Award.
In 2003, she played in L’amore ritorna, directed by Sergio Runini and the French film, Au secours, j’ai 30 ans, directed by Marie-anne Chazel, with Pierre Palmade.
In 2004, Giovanna starred in Virginia, directed by Alberto Sironi before returning to theatre to work with director Piero Maccarinelli in 4.48 Psicosi, by Sarak Kane, a one woman performance to much acclaim.
Giovanna starred in La Bestia Nel Cuore (Don’t Tell), directed by Cristina Comencini, in which she won the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress at the 62nd Venice Film Festival. Don’t Tell was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Film.
Most recently, Giovanna stars in Love in the Time of Cholera.