While the interior features lavish and ostentatious frescoes, typical of the Baroque era, set alongside the golden splendour of Byzantine mosaics, the exterior is characterised by a delightful mix of styles: representative elements typical of Norman and Islamic-derived architecture, such as the articulation of the elevations with recessed, ogival-arched niches, which give a vibrant rhythm to the masonry. There is also an original frieze, with an inscription in Greek, commemorating the founder, George of Antioch.
An altarpiece depicting the Ascension, painted by Vincenzo da Pavia in 1533, stands at the centre of the high altar, while a sumptuous tabernacle made of lapis lazuli sits beneath it. Known since ancient times, and coming from China and Afghanistan, lapis lazuli had a price similar to gold. Deep blue in colour, their use, like that of purple, was a characteristic and symbol of luxury.
There is excitement in the square: the restoration site, directed by the architect Giuseppe Patricolo, is in operation. The aim of the restoration workers, who are working tirelessly and with great enthusiasm, is to bring the old medieval elements back into view, also by removing some of the parts from the Baroque period. At this juncture, the foundations of the walls of the apse and the narthex have been found.