Beautiful and Explosive - Christina Kim Lights Up Milan

Italy is well known for elegant fashion, timeless architecture and exquisite culinary tradition... and none of that was lost on LPGA golf star Christina Kim, during her recent visit.

An intrepid traveler, she spent time in Rome and Florence, as well as in Milan where she was invited to play in the 108 woman field at the Carta Si Ladies Italian Open.

Though she's been around the world with her golf career, this was Christina's first trip to Italy, and it's quite clear she fell in love with the country and its rich culture. She took over a thousand photos and generously shares some of them on Twitter. They capture the highlights: iconic architecture and art as well as the whimsical oddities that make the country unique. Looking far out in the future, Christina even mentioned the possibility of an extended stay in Italy once her playing career is over.

Predictably, Christina's enthusiasm was reciprocated...many times over. She was described in the local press as beautiful and explosive. The Italian golf fans, the LET players, the media and just about everyone who had a chance to watch her play mentioned her joyfulness, generosity and spirited individualism.

Here in the US the buzz lately has been about what Christina isn't wearing, while in Milan it was her singular fashion sense that was analyzed and admired, both on the fairways of Le Rovedine Milano Golf Club and in town, where she explored the Via Montenapoleone, home to such names as Prada, Valentino and Gucci, and one of the most fashionable streets on earth.

With Diana Luna of Italy and Beatrize Recari of Spain Cristina tried on diamonds at the Damiani boutique. On the golf course her "blushing apricot" and "pea green" outfits were particularly well received. She did however garner one less than stellar style review from Milan soccer legend, Daniel Massaro who did not approve of a certain gold belt she wore, and felt her look was too theatrical. (my husband says the same thing about my look - some guys just don't get it...and never will).

As I wrote yesterday, the tournament was won by Marianne Skarpnord in a valiant duel with Laura Davies. Christina carded rounds of 73 67 and 71 it was a the three round tournament, missing the top 10 by one shot. A fact she later lamented on Twitter. "Two eagles, a few birds, stupid bogeys. What on earth is going on here?!" was the way she described one round. Which I can relate to really well. If you take out the eagles and birds.

In the end though, with Christina Kim at Carta Si Ladies Italian Open I think everyone came out a winner: Christina got to see a new country, experience a new culture and get to know know new people, both players and fans... while the LET golfers and International golf fans in Milan were able to enjoy the unique energy and star quality of Christina Kim.

Photos: Christina Kim, Beatriz Recari and Diana Luna visit Milan city centre/ ~ ~ Christina Kim in Jewelry by Diamiani/