Web Doc

To commemorate the life and work of Dr. Olga Ragusa, who passed away on Jan. 6 2018 at the age of 95, we are releasing a mini-documentary on Centro Primo Levi’s work restoring S.F. Vanni, the landmark Italian bookstore and publisher she ran in the West Village. Acquired by her father in the 1930s, Dr. Ragusa inherited the store after his sudden death in 1974. With the passing of the years, S.F. Vanni gradually fell into disrepair — until Centro Primo Levi accepted Dr. Ragusa’s invitation to renovate and reopen it as a cultural event space and headquarters for their publishing venture. Though it was an experiment that only lasted a few months and the space was rented to a private retailer in September 2015, the reopening of S.F. Vanni left a powerful impression on all those who visited it and will be remembered as a fitting tribute to a century of Italian literary culture in New York.