Cyane is a Water Goddess of Sicily who was the nymph of a spring of the same name. Sicily was settled by the Greeks in the 8th century BCE as part of their colony of Magna Graecia; so Cyane's name is Greek, and comes from kyanos, meaning "Blue", for the waters of Her fountain are indeed a very beautiful deep blue, and quite clear. It is a particularly abundantly flowing spring, and forms a good-sized river right from its source.
In the Greek legend, Cyane was a friend of the Maiden Goddess Kore or Persephone. Hades, the King of the Underworld, was said to have stolen Kore away to be His wife at Henna, a town in the center of Sicily. Cyane witnessed the abduction and tried to stop Him; but Hades overpowered Her and in His anger transformed Her into a pool of deep blue.
Alternately, Cyane wept so much at the loss of Her friend that She was changed into a flowing spring. When Demeter, Kore's mother, came by in Her search for Her daughter, Cyane could no longer tell Her what had happened as She was now in water form. Instead She caused a piece of Kore's clothing, Her belt, to wash up at Demeter's feet, giving Her a clue to help locate Her daughter.
The spring of Cyane, now called Fonte Ciane, forms a small circular pool about 50 feet across and 25 feet deep. As said above, the waters are a remarkably clear blue, and the site is noted for its beauty; the river that flows from it, now called the Ciane, flows for about four miles before joining up with another river, the Anapus. The Fonte Ciane is also remarkable for being the only place in Europe where papyrus grows wild; it was once thought to have been brought by the Arabs, or by the Greeks in the 3rd century BCE; there is some speculation now that the papyrus there may actually be native to the area. This papyrus once formed the basis of a paper-making industry, but is now protected, as the whole area was made a nature preserve in the mid-1980's.
Sicily has had a long history of being inhabited, and there is evidence of settlement there dating from the Paleolithic age. Over the centuries different peoples came to live there, including peoples from Africa, Asia Minor, Phoenicia, and later Carthage, who fought over it with the Romans. Given this, it is probable that the spring of Cyane had always had an associated Goddess or Nymph, as it was a very remarkable and numinous location, and Cyane would just be the Greek version of that Goddess. It is not unlikely that Cyane was worshipped by the Romans as well, as Her name has survived into modern times.
Cyane had a shrine on a hill overlooking Her spring. An annual festival to Her, said to have been instituted by Heracles, was celebrated in which a sacrificed bull was thrown into the spring.
Alternate spellings: Kyane, Kuane.