It is always a good idea to have something waiting on the table when your family or friends arrive. It can be nothing more than a good loaf of bread, some local butter, salt and a nice cheese, but an empty table does not express your joy at seeing loved ones and friends.
Again, the Italians out do most others with a great food idea, and once you have had a good antipasti, you will be hooked. You will need to visit a good deli, to put this on the way it should, and you should always use cheese and charcuterie from its country of origin. Knock offs are never as good.
1 loaf crusty bread
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1-2 cups of your favorite olives
1-2 cups roasted bell peppers, green, yellow, and red
1/4 pound prosciutto de Parma
1/4 pound hot Soppressata
1/4 pound best salami
1/2 pound Gorgonzola, Italian blue cheese
1/4 pound thin shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
Arrange everything artfully on an interesting serving tray, something rustic would be nice. Make sure the food is approaching room temperature, especially the cheeses, they should never, never be served cold. Serve with a good bottle of Italian red, it doesn't have to be the best bottle, but a good table wine would be grand.