Ła Vassa

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Ła Vassa
Map of the basin.

Ła Vassa is a mountain grassland or alpine meadow formed by an elevated, basin-shaped plateau ringed by the Xhiaxri, Plathiani, and Achone mountains and terminating in the southwest, surrounding Lake Clauzio.

Geologically speaking, Ła Vassa refers to the caldera lands which at one time formed a massive inland lake, and now enjoy mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Oceanic climate forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation. As a rule of thumb, it is warmer than most places at its latitude, such as the British Isles, due to the effects of the Gulf Stream.

The plain exhibits systematic agricultural cultivation that was first established by Roman colonists in the 1st century CE, and remains in use today. The ancient layout has been preserved by careful maintenance of the stone walls and ancient roads over 2,000 years, along with the stone shelters (now used for field storage and animal housing), and their water collection systems. The same crops, mainly wheat and orchard fruits, are still grown in the fields, and the site is also a natural reserve. The landscape is a valuable example of the ancient Roman system of centuriation.

Ła Vassa demonstrates the comprehensive system of agriculture as used by the ancient Romans. The land was divided into geometrical parcels (centuries) bounded by dry stone walls. The system included a rainwater recovery technology involving the use of gutters and storage cisterns. The original field layout has been respected by the continuous maintenance of the boundary walls by succeeding generations. Agricultural activity in the centuries has been uninterrupted for nearly two millennia. What we see today is a continuation of the cultural landscape of the original Roman colonists.