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Ray Banhoff

See the country for real.

Ray Banhoff’s Instagram page (@raybanhoff) is Italy. Not the prosecco-soaked Portofino holidays we’re used to seeing on social media, but the truly authentic Bel Paese.


The Italy that smells like coffee and Marlboros.
Where Vasco Rossi’s greatest hits play endlessly as a background anthem.
Deep-rooted Catholicism plays out overtly and inadvertently in the everyday.
And fare la bella figura (making a good impression) is everything.
It’s loud. Kind of cluttered, absolute aesthetic magic.


As a photographer and writer, Banhoff adds Gonzo-style descriptions to each intimate portrait, sharing his own thoughts and feelings of the subjects he meets. Whether it’s a small-town bar owner or one of many Vasco Rossi cover artists (a subject the Tuscan-born artist has dedicated a few years to), he showcases each individual’s unique performative quality to express themself. By cutting through Dolce-Vita cliches, his lens and his words remind us why the country has captured the world’s imagination. Not the landscapes. Not the art. Not the fashions. Nor the food. But the people.