The most famous architectural element of the entire monastic complex is the Scala degli Angeli (staircase of the angels). The majestic main entrance leading into the church was completed in 1712 and is a characteristic example of Sicilian Baroque.
The staircase of the angels, so called because of the sculptures depicting the heavenly creatures, is made of marble stucco, a less valuable material than marble but one cleverly used to highlight the opulence of the church.
For this reason, everything outside the entrance portal of the church had to be less valuable, so as not to distract the worshippers from their prayers. With its convexity, concavity, stucco and ellipses, the staircase reflects the dynamics of Baroque architecture.
It was built to connect the church floor to street level, which was seven metres lower.
The floor composed of two-tone marble slabs is very old and stylistically in contrast to the exuberant Baroque staircase. The portal, by an unknown artist, dates back to 1708. It is entirely carved in wood, with 8 panels depicting scenes from the life of St. Benedict.