On July 14, 1836, Felix Mendelssohn wrote from Frankfurt to his mother and his sister Rebecca in Berlin about the cultural and geographical landscape:
Early yesterday I went to see Ferdinand Hiller, and sitting there I found none other than Rossini. Big, fat, and in a sunny mood. I know very few men who can be as amusing and clever as he is when he feels like it. He kept us laughing the whole time. I promised that the Cecilia Association would sing the B minor Mass for him and several other works by Sebastian Bach. It will be all too entertaining to see Rossini obliged to admire Sebastian Bach.
But he thinks "different countries, different customs," and is determined to howl with the wolves. He says he finds Germany fascinating, says that once he gets his hands on the wine list at the Rhine Hotel in the evening the waiter has to show him the way to his room or he’d never be able to find it. He tells uproarious tales about Paris and all the musicians there, and also stories about himself and his compositions and how he has the greatest respect for all the men of today, so that you might actually believe him if you had no eyes to see the irony in his face.
Intellect, imagination, and wit sparkle in all of his features and in every word, and anyone who doesn’t believe that he’s a genius should hear him holding forth that way, in order to change his opinion.
I like the scenery around Frankfurt right now more than anything else -- such fruitfulness, the richness of the greenery, gardens, and fields, and gorgeous blue hills as a backdrop! And there’s a forest on the other side. To wander in the evening under the magnificent beech-trees among the countless herbs and flowers and blackberries and strawberries. It’s a delight for the heart.