i've been recently experimenting with ciabatta dough and i've read that it should be really wet. how wet is that, like a batter, very sticky or should i be able to handle it with out coating myself in flour first?
Depends on the specific recipe you're using. Ideally it will be extremely sticky to the point where coating yourself in flour won't matter, you just have to handle it and unstick yourself. For ciabatta, the wetter the better, just short of a batter. Wetter doughs properly formed and baked will produce larger holes.
If you don't have much experience in making yeast breads from scratch, know that it's ambitious for beginners.
Ciabatta dough needs to be really, really wet! At the beginning of fermentation you can't handle it. Turning the dough, during fermentation, develops enough gluten to make the dough barely able to be handled. Ciabatta means slipper in Italian. The name comes from the shape of the bread. It takes its flat, wide, slipper shape because it is too slack to hold any other shape. The slackness of the dough is also what produces the wide open crumb.