Like many who travel southern Europe in the hot summer months, I often find myself neglecting my preplanned agendas and rolling straight to the beach from my bed every free morning I have. All the beaches I had been to thus far, those around Rome and Naples, were clear as could be with not a creature in sight (unless you count the rambunctious youths as creatures). A recent stop in the sparkling blue waters of Liguria however lead to a different story.

I’ve heard there were jellyfish here, but I’ve heard about jellyfish in a lot of places without ever actually encountering them so I kind of ignored the warnings. Even during a trip to Greece just a few days earlier I still swam unafraid at the beach after seeing some sizable (maybe a foot all around?) jellies from a boat in deeper waters. The warm bath-like sea of the Liguria region of Italy however seemed to prove the main hang of the common jellyfish, or as the Italians say, the medusa (I now consider this name appropriate).

Let’s just say I’m extremely pleased with myself for having enough mastery of the Italian language to understand “hey lady, swim to the left!” just a few moments before a poor boy a little ways away cried out in what sounded like intense agony. (He’s fine, I mean his life currently sucks but he’s like, okay.) As his parents brought him into shore, since he seemed unable to swim back in himself having been stung on the back and arm, some brave fool snorkeling nearby captured the jelly in question with his flipper to move it onto the rocks and away from the population.

That is it.

Liguria beach jellyfish

That tiny blob of transparent nothingness is what caused the massive outbreak of red and raised burns across the boys arm shoulder and part of his back. What the actual heck? I would almost (almost) prefer to have hopped in with these guys in Greece because at least there’s a chance you’ll see them coming.


The truth is there are more types of jellyfish, all over the world, than I’d care to even know about, ranging from icky yet harmless to jeezzzz what the hell was that to deadly. No matter where you are and who’s in the water, knowing how to both avoid and treat are important.

When you arrive at the beach ask the life guard if there have been any stings so far today, and take note of the people, if it’s a scorching hot day and not too many are swimming there’s your answer.

If you do get stung, as ridiculous as it sounds, the best thing is to stay in the water (obviously like swim away from the rude jelly though). Salt water usually helps keeps stings from getting irritated where as taking a nice clean water shower at home will actually probably make it hurt worse. Other options are alcohol and, the one you’ve been waiting for, male human urine. I highly suggest sea water or booze. If you think your sting is getting worse or beyond the repair of wine then see a doctor.

Have you ever had a jellyfish encounter?

American by chance, but Roman by choice, Sarah is currently feeding her adventurous soul with expatriatism and pizza. Her finest moments are always on the wrong bus with a backpack and an upside down map, waiting to see what the world’s got for her next, so long as she can blog about it. She likes writing more than talking, dolphins more than humans, old movies more than new, and Rome more than anything else.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here