As New York Times Rome bureau chief, pictured with Pope John Paul II (and Vice President Dick Cheney, background).
It was in Rome, Bruni said, that he learned to master his extreme appetite.
"Italians don't supersize things, they don't have Big Gulps," he said. "They don't do Value Packs. They eat in moderation. They care a lot about food, but they care about the quality of it and not the quantity. And I felt I'd absorbed all of that, and I made the bet that it was going to be OK." (Courtesy Frank Bruni)