Bella Vita Guide | Sachi Ganzak
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
An exclusive interview with Sachi Ganzak, founder of Italian lifestyle focused Bella Vita Guide.
We've never been to Italy (although our pasta consumption rates might say otherwise), but after our conversation with Sachi Ganzak, we’re practically packing our bags and booking a one way ticket to Rome. Ganzak is the creator of Bella Vita Guide, a blog inspired by the Italian lifestyle. Ganzak became enamored with the Italian way of life three years ago, when her now-husband surprised her with a Valentine’s day trip (the pair were recently married in Positano). Ganzak recalls throwing herself into research to prepare for that first trip, spending hours pouring over books, blogs and reviews to create the perfect Italian itinerary.
“We took trains, we took taxis,” says Ganzak of her first adventure. “We didn’t use a travel agent, but at no point was I ever worried.” Because of her extensive research, she became a confident traveler, and came to Italy that first time prepared to experience every adventure the country had to offer, from art to food and wine and everything in between (and luckily for us, ready to blog about it).
There’s a sense of honesty and authenticity about Ganzak that really translates into her blog in a way that’s uncommon in today’s Instagram culture.
She posted the absolutely stunning pictures from her Positano wedding, but made sure to accompany them with a blog post sparing no detail about vendors (she didn’t use a wedding planner, so everything from photographer to florist were all hand-selected by Ganzak herself), travel plans and even ceremony details other influencers tend to gloss over or keep secret. Ganzak even gets technical with it, explaining the legalities of getting married abroad (she was legally married here in the US, but the main event was the symbolic ceremony in Italy). She’s completely willing to share all the particulars, and told us she’s had many newly-engaged women reach out to ask questions about their own upcoming nuptials. “I’ve always happily given way more information than they ask for,” laughs Ganzak.
Ganzak’s groundwork certainly paid off. Her wedding was absolutely gorgeous, and even though she booked everything ahead of time, sight unseen (including the 22 plane tickets that required a 16-thousand-dollar wire to an Italian airline), she says (despite a slightly tardy videographer) the wedding was absolutely seamless. “Everything is just so effortless in Italy,” says Ganzak, and she’s not just referencing the beautiful wedding (think a rustic venue dripping with thousands of creamy white flowers, framed by stunning cliffside views of the Amalfi coastline) that went off without a hitch. While many influencers focus on tangible things, like an outfit of the day selfie or a new (and conveniently sponsored) product, Ganzak’s approach is different. She’s curated a lifestyle guide in the truest sense, in that she’s devoted to capturing the Italian way of life in a holistic way. While she’s happy to share delicious homemade pasta recipes and Italian skincare secrets (more on this later), the core of her content centers on an idea, a certain way of life that is uniquely Italian.
“I love the Italian approach to life. It’s what truly inspired me to do this,” Ganzak explains when asked where the idea for Bella Vita guide came from.
Bella Vita quite literally translates to “beautiful life” in Italian, and that’s exactly what Ganzak is attempting to bring home to the US with her blog. “In Italy, everything is more purposeful,” Ganzak explains. “The relationships you have, the time you spend with people…you just set aside time and enjoy things.” She goes on the tell us how she and her husband have really incorporated these principles into their own “beautiful life” back home in Naples (Florida, that is).
We can’t help but recognize her point is all too valid. Often times, the culture here in the US tells us we aren’t accomplishing anything until we have a million things on our plates, until we are busy simply for the sake of being busy (though, admittedly it’s easy to live out some of those Italian principles here in Naples). Sometimes, it’s good to step back and enjoy the little things, from that morning cup of coffee on the balcony to time spent with friends and family. Ganzak, who plans to
eventually retire in Italy with her husband, goes on to detail her favorite Italian destinations.
At the top of her list is Florence, which she describes as an incredible cultural center with a small town feel. “It’s the birthplace of The Renaissance, but everything in the city center is walking distance.” Next on the list is Rome, which feels like New York City, but with some really ancient architecture. As for what’s next for Bella Vita guide, Ganzak reveals some exciting new things to look out for. “I see myself doing more travel guides,” the blogger says, adding again that she often gets so deep into research she spends way more time on these guides than intended. “I want to be so ridiculously thorough,” she continues, letting us know we can expect to see guides for Florence, Positano, Milan and Venice in the near future. As she develops the blog, which is still relatively new (although you wouldn't know from her polished aesthetic and abundance of content), she plans to integrate more fashion, beauty and food ("especially food") features.
Ever the planner, her ultimate goal is to curate an e-commerce boutique with imported Italian goods, and is even in talks with a Tuscan leather goods distributor. She’d eventually like to incorporate artisan food products and Italian-made skincare, two things that might have more in common than you’d think. When asked about the Italian beauty philosophy (what can we say, we Americans are singularly beauty-obsessed), Ganzak makes a surprising connection. “A lot of key ingredients they use in food have moved over to skincare,” she notes, citing Skin & co Roma and Perlier as brands that do this well, using fresh farmed ingredients that really work. “You’ll see black truffle and olive oil on a skincare label. It’s truly clean beauty.” When Ganzak goes on to speak of the food itself in Italy, it’s clear why it just makes sense that it would be in the skincare as well. “Everything is so fresh,” she explains, telling us the Italian way of eating centers around what’s indigenous and in season. “From the pasta to the cheese, everything you use was made that day. You can tell the difference in the taste of the food, the quality of it.”
“Now, we take our time for dinner and we talk, we enjoy wine. In America, everyone is so worried about the grind, the hustle, competing with each other.”
It seems this is what her concept is really all about, adding the sense of Italian quality that turns things like eating and socializing from everyday activities into experiences. Bella Vita Guide’s main principle is simple: slow down and enjoy the beautiful life around you, no matter where you are. Looks like we might not need that one-way ticket to Rome to live the Italian lifestyle after all.
Favorite Meal to Cook at Home? Cacio & Pepe
Favorite Designers? Dolce & Gabbana, Versace
Favorite Thing About Naples (Florida!) The relaxed environment
Favorite Thing About Italy? The art
Favorite Local Spot to Shop? The Waterside Shops
What's Next on Your Travel Bucket List? Spain
What's a Trend You Just Can't Get Behind? Bright neon colors!
What's a Product You Can't Live Without? Perfume! Specifically, anything by Tom Ford
What's Your Local Go-To for Traditional Pizza? La Trattoria
Out On the Town Eating Italian - Where Can We Find You? Caffé Milano & Osteria Tulia