SICILY, Italy -- It was an ambitious and historic itinerary for a first presidential foreign tour and one the White House had hoped would definitively turn the page on a tumultuous first 120 days.
“I think we hit a home run no matter where we are,” Trump told U.S. troops in Sigonella, Sicily, after he left the G-7 summit..
The images of the businessman president on a global stage -- front and center among world’s leading powers -- helped give him a natural opportunity to refocus. From Saudi Arabia to Sicily, Trump was showered with praise by old friends and feted with sword dances and lavish banquets. He was hailed for forging a common cause against Iran.
Even with the pope, a man he once called a “disgrace,” Trump seemed to get along. "I will never forget what you said to me,” the president told the pontiff.
The biggest storyline of all may be the headlines that could have been but didn’t happen: the president showing rare and sober discipline, publicly disengaging from the crises that have engulfed his young administration, and exercising restraint on Twitter (he tweeted just 24 times, mostly promoting his travels and events).
He stuck to a surprisingly consistent public message for nine straight days, sequestered from the traveling press and forgoing any formal press conference.
“The president was able to make some of the most amazing deals that have been made by any administration ever,” boasted chief Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn on Saturday.
But now, back to reality.
Trump the disciplined diplomat may result from a dynamic unique to international travel, including having his wife, Melania, and top staff constantly by his side, a packed and grueling schedule several time zones from away consuming his attention, and a near complete blackout of American cable TV news.
And in the coming days, Trump is almost certain to wade back into the old fights -- especially once he resumes his diet of Twitter and cable TV news.
He could also be drawn into commenting on those unflattering moments and images from the trip that have been picked apart by the global press -- Trump shoving his way to the front of the pack at NATO; hot-mic moments on the tarmac with Bibi in Tel Aviv; his wife swatting away his hand; calling the Germans “very bad.” So far the criticisms have gone unanswered.
The White House is celebrating President Trump’s debut on the world stage as a smashing success, free from the distractions that had plagued him back at home. Now he faces a real test to see how long the discipline and self-control can last.
ABC News' Jordyn Phelps and Karen Travers contributed.